Former Disney Channel child star and professional dancer Alyson Stoner has shared her experience of falling in love with a woman in an emotional essay for Teen Vogue.
On Friday, the outlet published Stoner's essay titled, "How I embraced my sexual idenity," where the star opened up about her struggle with coming to terms with her sexuality.
“After I dizzied myself from doing knee spins, she walked toward me to correct my form,” Stoner wrote of meeting her dance instructor, the women she fell for, for the first time. “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.”
After the class, the star recalled a text she sent to her mother and her best friend which read, “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 detailed how their relationship bloomed over time, recounting the first time they hung out together to the first time they kissed.
“In its purest sense, I felt awakened, more compassionate and like my truest self,” Stoner wrote. “She strengthened and inspired me, creating a space for me to discover myself without judgment. We were an example of true love.”
Later in the essay, the "Step Up" actress and dancer admitted that while she was falling in love with a woman, she also struggled to accept what was happening and denied her feelings at first.
“Some people in the industry warned me that I’d ruin my career, miss out on possible jobs, and potentially put my life in danger if I ever came out," she explained. "My dream and all I’d worked tirelessly for since the age of 6 was suddenly at risk by my being true to myself.”
The actress and singer then confessed to going to therapy, talking to pastors and forcefully engaging herself in relationships with men to try and convince herself that her feelings for another woman were not real.
But since coming to terms with sexuality, the "Camp Rock" actress has accepted who she is and clarified that her sexuality and who she was attracted to can't be labeled as one thing.
“I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways,” she stated. “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.”