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Love, Me

How Trans Model and Savage x Fenty Ambassador Rose Montoya Battled Depression and Chronic Anxiety

How Trans Model and Savage x Fenty Ambassador Rose Montoya Battled Depression and Chronic Anxiety

Watch Rose Montoya reflect on her journey with depression in our Love, Me series.

For transgender model and activist Rose Montoya, chronic anxiety and depression have always been a part of her life. Montoya works as a professional model and has been featured by brands such as Savage X Fenty and TOMS, and most recently she modeled for FOLX Health to showcase their PrEP launch. She also creates content that details her experiences as a trans model and uses her platform to advocate for trans inclusion, body acceptance, and mental health awareness.

Her passion for speaking out on mental health awareness comes from her own battle with depression. When Montoya started to seek help, it came from a negative place. She grew up internalizing a lot of fear and shame of the queerness and femininity in herself. That's when Montoya realized that she needed to seek help.

"I remember telling my therapist about these traumas I had gone through ... for years," says Montoya in's Love, Me series. "I broke down crying and he stopped me and he was like, 'Rose, you are perfect,' but that was even harder to hear because I didn't believe it myself. He told me I was doing my best and that my best looks different every day. I was so thankful to finally find someone who understood me."

Montoya worked to understand who she was, a process that wasn't easy. "I have this level of patience for people who have ignorance about my community because I was just as ignorant growing up. I didn't know the word transgender or had a queer friend. Today, I'm so grateful for my community because they have shown me how to be truly vulnerable and brave enough to be proud of who I am."

"So much of learning who we are is unlearning everything we've been told to be. I truly think for me, one of the most radical acts of self-love that I was able to give myself was surgery," Montoya admits. "It was at a time when I decided not to care about the opinions of others. When I did that, it was like a night and day difference. My friends told me how much more outgoing I was and how happy I looked. I finally focused inward and decided to allow myself to love who I am."

Discover more stories on Out, The Advocate, HIVPlusMag, and PRIDE about how queer people are navigating their mental health journeys and overcoming their experiences in the Love, Me series.

If you have or are contemplating suicide, please know there is a well of support out there to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 can be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities. If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide, the Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger). Trained counselors at the Trevor Project Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at (866) 488-7386, by texting START to 678678, or via the TrevorChat instant messaging service at

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