Disney Channel Star Alyson Stoner Opens up About Sexuality

Disney Channel star Alyson Stoner opened up about her sexuality in an essay for Teen Vogue, recalling the time she fell in love with her dance instructor, a woman.

The 24-year-old, who previously worked as a backup dancer for Missy Elliott, wrote about arriving at a trial dance workshop late. After she arrived, she searched for the instructor and was instantly struck.

"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," Stoner wrote. "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."

After the workshop, she texted her best friend and her mother, telling them, "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 said she kept in touch with the instructor casually. For a time, she could not figure out what she was feeling, but realized it was more than platonic.

"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," Stoner wrote. "I fell in love with a woman."

Stoner said she spent "years" in therapy trying to figure out why she was attracted to a woman and "internalized some of the harmful beliefs and misconceptions about LGBTQ people and identities." She said her faith and worldview "neither supported nor accepted same-sex relationships," and she prayed every night.

She continued fighting her attraction to women, even trying to have physical relationships with men to "convince myself that my love for her was just a spiritual battle attacking my character and discernment."

Some people in the entertainment world told Stoner her sexuality would ruin her career and she would miss out on opportunities if she came out. But she ultimately decided to go public anyway, even releasing the song, "When It's Right," which is inspired by the woman she fell in love with.

"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," Stoner concluded. "Whatever your identity, you are lovable and wonderful and enough. I'm on the other side of some of these battles internally, but it's still a challenge in the outside world. 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. She messed up everything in the best way possible, and I wouldn't change a thing."


Stoner started her TV career as a host for Disney Channel's Mike Super Short Show, and went on to voice characters on Phineas and Ferb and play Max on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. She also played Camille Gage in three Step Up movies.

Photo credit: Instagram/ Alyson Stoner