Life for Stefanie growing up was extremely strict and restricted. Her mother was a first generation, devout Roman Catholic from Peru who Stefanie characterized as “tyrannical.” Stefanie wasn’t allowed to dye her hair, she wasn’t allowed to stay out with friends and certainly wasn’t allowed to date. She therefore rebelled against mom’s stifling rules. Stefanie started realizing that she was attracted to women at a young age but mom’s traditional worldview kept Stefanie in the closet for many years.

Her small, hometown in the mid-west was incredibly boring and gossip spread fast so she decided to move 1,000 miles away to Boston to attend Emerson College. In college Stefanie met a lot of gay and bisexual women and found Boston to be a perfect place to do some soul searching. “Dyke Night” at the RamRod was the “beginning of the rest of her life.” She became active in the lesbian scene and started dating women. Her longest relationship with a woman lasted two years. She kept her relationship and living arrangements with her girlfriend a secret. Living a double life caught up with her, so when she finally came out to her mom she responded: “I DID NOT RAISE YOU TO BE A F****** LESBIAN."

Stefanie didn’t want to live with her mother’s Catholic guilt and she quickly realized she didn't need her approval. After all, her mother had two unhappy marriages and never experienced much freedom. Ironically, Stefanie now thinks that her mother might be secretly attracted to women although she hasn’t been able to broach the subject with her yet. Stefanie enjoys writing, gymnastics, disco dance, contortion, and volunteering with foster children. If she were to impart knowledge regarding her journey to someone who is questioning she would be brutally honest about some of the realities of dating women: it can be catty and competitive. Stefanie is attracted to strong, beautiful and sensitive women who aren’t afraid to be and to express themselves. She likes a nice smile, a fun and goofy sense of humor and someone with passion and purpose.