You might not know the name Alyson Stoner, but you probably remember her as the dancing kid in Missy Elliott’s “Work It” video. She also went on to act in the Cheaper By the Dozen movies and played Max in Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
The former child actress has now come out as queer in a personal new essay for Teen Vogue. Stoner still dances and is a singer who talks about her relationship with a woman in her new single, “When It’s Right.”
“I left the [dance] workshop and texted my mother and best friend, saying, ’I met a woman today, I’m not sure who she is or what I’m feeling, but I think she’s going to be in my life for a very long time,'” Stoner writes in her essay, recalling when she fell for her dance instructor.
“Our bond didn’t feel quite sisterly or platonic. Flashes of her smile progressed to flashes of her wavy hair followed by the curve of her hips through her straight-leg pants. I realized I had never fantasized about a guy this way, nor really ever felt comfortable dating guys.”
“Come to think of it, I stared at women’s bodies more than anything,” she adds.
Stoner’s relationship with the woman grew as the two texted back and forth, hung out more, and eventually kissed one night after making dinner and watching Orange is the New Black.
“OK, we were in a relationship. I fell in love with a woman,” she wrote.
But Stoner had a hard time coming to grips with her feelings for the woman, especially since her faith and “worldview neither supported nor accepted same-sex relationships.” She reveals in the essay that she eventually went to conversion therapy:
“I prayed in turmoil nightly, begging to be healed from these desires. Certain pastors and community members tried to reverse and eliminate my attraction to her.”
“I pursued physical relationships with men to convince myself that my love for her was just a spiritual battle attacking my character and discernment. I pored over texts, contemporary and ancient, seeking truth and answers from professors, scientists, church leaders, friends, and family.”
Stoner finally came to terms with her sexuality, writing in her essay: “I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways. I can love people of every gender identity and expression.”
“If you’re questioning or struggling with your sexuality, gender identity, or anything else, know that I and so many who’ve gone before us are with you,” she said.
“Whatever your identity, you are lovable and wonderful and enough.”
h/t: Gay Star News