Transgender financial struggles: 'How we get by'

These six people are transgender and unemployed, homeless, living on food stamps or facing piles of debt.

'It's tough to get by'
transgender finance diana obrien
Name: Diana O'Brien
Age: 42
Hometown: Wilton Manors, Fla.

I was working at a spa while I finished transitioning, and my boss insisted I couldn't present myself as female at work -- and even bought me men's polo shirts to wear as soon as I bought women's shirts.

It created such a hostile work environment that I left in mid-December and I've been looking for work since.

I've applied for 213 jobs. A coffee equipment company offered me a job a couple days ago and I just needed to meet with the technician to get trained. But after I discussed the name change with the employer on the phone, I got a call saying 'we changed our mind,' and they gave me some excuse.

Video: Transgender and unemployed for four years

I've spent all my savings now and sold almost all my valuable personal property. I'm doing dog walking and handywoman projects to get by -- I brought in $725 in the month of January.

I receive $47 per month in food stamps and get some groceries from a local church's food closet. The money I've made will get me through March, at which point I will either have made enough to pay April's rent or will face homelessness.

It's tough to get by, but it's important to maintain a positive outlook -- and I do.

  @blakeellis3 - Last updated February 25 2013 02:34 PM ET
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