Of all of this season's 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days couples, we have been the most excited for Stephanie Matto and Erika Owens.
In a new, in-depth interview, Stephanie talks about the challenges in her relationship, and especially coming out as bi to her family.
In a lengthy interview with Entertainment Tonight, Stephanie Matto gets real about coming out as bi as a person and as a reality TV personality.
"I feel like there's a lot of pressure," she admits, saying that "you don't want to let anybody down."
"You don't want to let down the LGBTQ community," Stephanie emphasizes.
"And," she adds, "a part of me wants to be like, great representation for this community."
"But also I think we all just need to realize we're just like any other couple," Stephanie points out.
She reasons: "We're gonna have just similar problems to all the other couples on the show."
"I hope that people come into this with an open mind," Stephanie expresses.
She hopes that viewers will give her and Erika a fair shake "and give us a chance to share our story."
Stephanie acknowledges that she may face some skepticism for coming out on television.
For one thing, she is a YouTuber, and simply appearing on Reality TV is going to look like a ploy to improve her brand to some folks.
And then, of course, there is blatant biphobia. Countless bi women are told that they're "seeking attention" and "are actually straight."
"I think people will definitely be skeptical," Stephanie acknowledges.
"You know," Stephanie acknowledges, "I'm a social media influencer, I'm a YouTuber."
"So," she says, "people already just question, 'OK well, why is this girl doing this? Is it all just for attention or whatever?'"
"But honestly, this is how I've always been," Stephanie explains. "I've always aired my life out on YouTube."
"I'm a storyteller," she shares, "and I like being open and honest and vulnerable because I want to make people feel less alone."
"I want others to feel understood because, for such a long time, I felt really misunderstood," STephanie expresses.
"I really felt like no one knew who I was," she admits, "and what I was really going through."
"There's a lot of stigma in the LGBTQ community," Stephanie acknowledges, "but there's also a lot of stigma for bisexuals."
That is unfortunately true. Like so many minority communities, the LGBTQ+ community grapples with intracommunity bigotry, including biphobia.
"For a lot of people, it's not taken seriously," Stephanie explains.
She laments that "even within the LGBTQ community, it's like, 'Oh, why can't you just choose?'"
Obviously, no one chooses their sexuality.
Bi folks can face bigotry from straight people for being "too gay" and from gay people for being "too straight."
"There's lots of issues tackled this season," Stephanie says, "so everyone will have to stay tuned and see."
"I felt like this was a way of doing it that was so gutsy and just so crazy that there would be no possible way for me to go back," she explains.
Stephanie did this "because I've had one foot out the closet and one foot in the closet for so many years,"
"I almost came out so many times," she reflects.
"That's definitely a major part of my story," Stephanie emphasizes.
She shares: "The big takeaway is that nobody's coming out journey is going to be the same."
"It's never going to be cut and dry," Stephanie says, "as simple as telling your parents, shaking their hands and leaving."
That's very true, whether someone's parents are supportive or not.
"It's a lot to process and sometimes it may take multiple tries," Stephanie points out.
She continues: "And sometimes you might have doubts about doing it,"
"But I hope that by watching me and Erika, people see that, hey, you can do this," Stephanie expresses.
"And if you're not ready, that's OK," she notes. "You can take your time."
"There is no right time to come out," Stephanie correctly emphasizes.
She gushes: "I'm really proud and happy that we are going to be the first couple that's unveiling all these issues."
She says that she is excited that they're showing fans their story "and showing the world what it's really like."