Former Disney Channel star and “Step Up” actress Alyson Stoner is opening up about her own sexual fluidity in a candid essay she wrote for Teen Vogue.
Stoner, 24, describes being pretty confident in her heterosexuality until meeting a dance instructor who “changed everything I knew about myself as a woman, human being, and performer.”
Watching the woman while taking a dance class, she writes that the attraction was instantaneous. “There she was, wearing loose jeans and a backward snapback. She flipped and rolled her body around with adventure and total abandon. As a Type A perfectionist, I was mesmerized and intimidated,” says Stoner.
What she was feeling, she admits, left her feeling confused, wondering “whether she was a cool new friend or more… 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. But wasn’t that just societal conditioning or the unattainable beauty standards that fuel comparison and objectification? I refused to entertain other possibilities.”
As Stoner explains, they first became friends until at one point their relationship turned physical.
“She and I continued to hang out and began sending good morning texts. 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.”
Stoner reveals she was cautioned to keep her sexuality to herself, warned “that I’d ruin my career, miss out on possible jobs, and potentially put my life in danger if I ever came out,” Stoner said. “My dream and all I’d worked tirelessly for since the age of 6 was suddenly at risk by my being… true to myself.”
Ultimately, Stoner says she learned to be honest with herself about who she is. “I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways,” she writes. “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.”