Alyson Stoner, professional dancer, singer and once child actor for Disney and “Cheaper by the Dozen,” recently came out as sexually fluid in her essay “It is the Soul that Captivates Me” for Teen Vogue.
“I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways,” Stoner said. “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.”
Stoner recalls struggling with the ability to find herself attracted to men, and because of that she thought that there was something wrong with herself. She attempted to smother feelings she deemed ‘wrong’ and made excuses for the way she really felt. Stoner even spent time in therapy trying to figure out if something really was wrong, but deep down she knew the truth of her sexuality.
One of the main reasons why Stoner had a hard time coming to terms with her new found sexual-identity was because of her religious beliefs. She believed that being gay would ultimately send her to hell. Stoner went through conversion therapy multiple times, so that pastors and community members could attempt to eliminate her attraction to women.
Stoner wrote, “Like many, I had internalized some of the harmful beliefs and misconceptions about LGBTQ people and identities.”
Stoner also wrote about how people in the industry warned her that coming out could potentially mean the downfall of her career.
Stoner recalled feeling very pressured that way, in her essay and wrote, “Imagine receiving death threats (as I have); would you choose to live a lie in order to protect your loved ones? What if your partner felt like you were hiding them, and it created stress and tension because you couldn’t be open outside of your home?
To celebrate her coming out, Stoner released a new song titled “When its Right” which is about her experience of falling in love with a woman for the first time.
“Our bond didn’t feel quite sisterly or platonic,” she wrote. “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.”
“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. Whatever your identity, you are lovable and wonderful and enough.”