A former star of several Disney Channel shows has come out as gay in a new essay in “Teen Vogue” magazine, encouraging other teens who are struggling with their sexual identity that “it’s OK.”
Alyson Stoner is known to a generation of young Disney Channel fans as the character of Max on the show “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” and as the voice of Isabella on the animated show “Phineas and Ferb.” She was the voice of Holly Hobbie in the 2000s animated series and was one of the kids in Steve Martin’s “Cheaper By The Dozen” film series. She even did several faith-based films.
In the essay for “Teen Vogue,” the 24-year-old said she realized several years ago that she was attracted to a woman who taught her dance class. “She and I continued to hang out and began sending good morning texts,” she wrote. “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 said she struggled with being a lesbian because of her Christian faith, which teaches against same-sex relationships. Finally, she admits, she rejected that faith. “God, if I’m evil, then I accept this and give up. I’ve believed you are loving, but I don’t want to live a lie. If by being honest I get banished to hell, so be it. I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry,” she said.
Actress Alyson Stoner has opened up about her sexuality and revealed doing so has given her a greater sense of awakening and compassion.
The former Disney star and backup dancer, 24, spoke candidly about the first time she realized she loved a woman in a Teen Vogue personal essay published on Friday.
‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody’ actress recalled the moment she felt her heart race over the sight of an instructor while in attendance to a dance workshop.
Stoner felt ‘mesmerized and intimidated’ by the woman – who was seemingly her polar opposite – adventurous and free-spirited – in contrast to her ‘type A personality’.
She said: ‘After I dizzied myself from doing knee spins, she walked toward me to correct my form. My heart raced wildly and my body grew hot.
‘Was I nervous to fail in front of an expert? Was I breathing heavily from being out of shape? Her smile was the most electrifying thing I’d ever seen.’
Even though friends warned her coming out as gay would damage her career, she chose to follow her feelings.
The ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ star began regularly communicating with and hanging out with the instructor before the pair’s friendship turned into a serious relationship.
The Ohio-born actress revealed she had never felt the same type of emotions from a man before.
‘I realized I had never fantasized about a guy this way, nor really ever felt comfortable dating guys,’ Stoner said, while adding that she is both attracted to women and men.
In the “Teen Vogue” essay, she encourages teens wondering if they are gay to follow their heart.
It’s OK. Dare to be yourself anyway. Find support, because we’re out there! And when you fall in love with anyone, you’ll know exactly what I felt for her. As “When It’s Right” describes, it’s right when it’s right — and who it’s right with.