Former Disney Channel Actress Comes Out as Part of the LGBTQ+ Community

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In the wise words of Alyson Stoner, “today’s a special day.” Why, you may ask? Because for the first time ever, she came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. And that’s definitely a reason to celebrate.

The Disney Channel alum penned a personal essay about falling in love with a woman and embracing her sexual identity for Teen Vogue, marking the first time she has publicly spoken about being queer.

The 24-year-old recalls going to a dance class and being immediately infatuated by the instructor. She didn’t realize it at the time, but she was falling in love with woman.

“She and I continued to hang out and began sending good morning texts,” Alyson writes. “Then we made dinner and watched Orange Is the New Black. Then we vented and supported each other. Then cuddled. Then kissed and kissed some more. OK, we were in a relationship. I fell in love with a woman.”

But the Camp Rock star wasn’t fully ready to accept her sexuality. She went to therapy for years “trying to identify the source of [her] attraction to [the instructor].”

She continues, “Like many, I had internalized some of the harmful beliefs and misconceptions about LGBTQ people and identities. At the time, I thought, ‘Maybe it’s because I moved away from my father as a child and didn’t have typical male guidance in my life. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced abuse from men and therefore I’m scared of intimacy with them (and in general). Maybe it’s because open sexuality is prevalent in my artistic community and I subconsciously just want to fit in. Maybe I actually want to be her, and I’m mistaking idolization for romance. Anything besides being gay, please!'”

Alyson was afraid of her own feelings, partially because of her faith and spoke to “pastors and community members [who] tried to reverse and eliminate” the same-sex attraction. She was told that coming out would ruin her career, so she should never share her feelings with anyone. But then she had a moment of realization — this is who she is and she cannot hide it any longer.

“I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways,” she finally states. “I can love people of every gender identity and expression. It is the soul that captivates me. It is the love we can build and the goodness we can contribute to the world by supporting each other’s best journeys.”

So proud of her!