The road to acceptance. Stephanie Matto of 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days opened up about her tough experience coming out as bisexual to her family — and the world — amid her romance with Erika Owens.
“I previously have dated women casually, gone out on dates — things would tend to fizzle out and I always just felt like it would just be easier to continue introducing men to my family and just have my family on a need to know basis,” the YouTuber, 28, told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting the TLC series on Tuesday, March 3. “But I think one of the important things that I go into in the show is coming out to my family, and trying to embrace who I am finally after keeping it hidden for so long.”
Stephanie admitted to Us that there are “specific reasons” she chose to conceal her sexuality from her family, which she revealed will be explored on the new season. “A lot of people might wonder why did I decide to do it now and on television? It’s pretty crazy, but I’m a pretty crazy person,” she said. “I felt like this was like ripping the Band-Aid off, like, the ultimate coming out. You can’t back out now, you just got to do it. You got to jump right in.”
The TLC personality also noted how “scary” it was for her to share this side of herself not just with her family, but the world. Stephanie noted how she “wasn’t 100 percent sure how people would react.” (Her YouTube channel currently boasts more than 350,000 subscribers, and she also has over 10,000 Twitter followers.)
“There’s people that have been following my social media for a long time, and I’m sure they’re probably very caught off guard,” she shared. “And then also my family, their reaction— their approval means a lot to me. So I want to feel accepted.”
Stephanie’s love story with Erika is continuing to unfold on the fourth season of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, which kicked off on February 23. In the spinoff series, the American partner travels outside the U.S. to make their relationship work with their significant other after meeting online.
Stephanie and Erika’s casting on the reality series is historic, as they are the first same-sex couple to appear on the show.
“We started [talking] on Instagram. It was weird,” Stephanie told Us on Tuesday. “I get a lot of messages sent to my inbox and sometimes I’ll just scroll through because it’s a lot to have to open. But she immediately stood out to me, because she’s a very standout person. She has bright pink and purple hair and I clicked on her profile and it all just snowballed from there.”
After beginning their online romance over a year ago, Stephanie made the decision to travel to Australia to continue seeing her fiancé. “Objectively speaking, I love Australia,” Stephanie told Us. “If it was a possibility — let’s just say hypothetically — to move there, I would be open to it because it’s a cool place.”
90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days airs on TLC Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Joe Drake
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!