Samm grew up with a family of five: her, her mom, a younger sister, and an older twin brother and sister. Her biological dad was never really in the picture.
The family moved around Wisconsin quite a bit when she was a kid, jumping from when she was born in Hartford, to Horicon, then to Kewaskum where she finished high school.
After high school, Samm moved around the country, jumping from Tennessee to North Carolina before settling in Wisconsin again a few years ago.
And eventually, Samm would find out that the majority of her family is not straight. But before that, there were hints that let her know that they would all be accepting of everybody’s identities.
In one instance, on Mother’s Day several years ago, Samm’s mom got a call from his oldest son saying that his twin sister stole his girlfriend.
When she was 10 or 11 years old, Samm realized that she had a crush on one of her friends.
“She still doesn’t know to this day,” because they all attended Sunday school together, she said. “I was not ready for that ridicule.”
The first person she ever came out to was her friend at the time, Jenna. She stopped talking to Samm after the fact, but came back to her years later because she wanted to experiment with a girl.
At first, she cried about Jenna not talking to her anymore. But after some deep thought, Samm realized that “if this is how she’s going to treat me, then she wasn’t my real friend in the first place.”
She came out to the rest of the school when she was around 15 years old, when she showed up to school holding hands with her now ex-girlfriend. But her classmates did not respond ideally to it.
“We went to a very, very conservative school, and a lot of people reacted really badly to it,” Samm said. “There was one person that had actually spit on one of my friends for standing up for me. It was horrible.
“My ex and I would be together in the hallways, and if teachers tried to break us up I’d say to them that it’s discrimination because there’s a straight couple making out down the hall.”
In other instances, players of the football team would make fun of them and say that it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
“That’s the type of school I went to.”
The teachers also reacted poorly to Samm being out.
Every year throughout high school, her and her friends would participate in the Day of Silence, and Samm explained that the office staff and liaison officer would do everything in their power to make her cry or talk each time it came around.
“The only year we didn’t have a ton of backlash was my senior year, because I was dating a football player,” she said.
However, those in her home life reacted differently.
Coming out to her mom was no issue because Samm knew that she would be accepting.
“A week before I came out, I got pulled over for speeding, and my mom found the warning for it. We were driving together, and I asked my mom, ‘Do you remember that girl that I introduced you to a couple weeks ago?’
“She said, ‘yeah, what about her?’
“‘She’s my ex girlfriend.’
“She pulled over, looked at me, and yelled, ‘you could tell me about this but not that you got pulled over for speeding?’”
Her oldest sister had come out as bisexual before her. After Samm came out, her youngest sister, Mckayla, and her mother both came out as bisexual. The only straight person in the family of five is Samm’s oldest brother.
Until about a year ago, Samm identified as bisexual. Her and her boyfriend were talking one night, “and I said, ‘My perfect person would be a transgender [FTM] that got top surgery but not bottom surgery,’” she explained. Her boyfriend said jokingly that this preference didn’t really fit the term “bisexual,” and Samm realized that perhaps that she was pansexual instead.
“Honestly, it does not matter what’s in their pants; as long as they’re nice to me and they’re awesome, it’s good.”
Samm is now engaged to her boyfriend, and they’re raising her 4-year-old son together.
“He calls my boyfriend dad,” she said happily.
And she said that the easiest thing that came to her in her coming out journey was that she came out to her friends first.
“If you know that your parents are not going to accept it, don’t do it until after you turn 18 and can move out,” she explained. “Because, especially nowadays, a lot of your friends are going to be your family more than your actual family is going to be.”
Editor’s note: This article was originally posted January 19, 2021.