If you grew up in the early 2000’s the chances are you’ll recognise Alyson Stoner for her roles in a number of Disney shows, including The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Camp Rock.
The 24-year-old also starred in Cheaper by the Dozen 1 & 2,Step Up 1 & 2, and voiced Isabella Garcia-Shapiro in Phineas and Ferb.
Basically, she’s a hugely successful young-adult actress and has appeared in all of our nostalgic Disney faves.
And last week, the actress and singer decided to speak up about her sexuality, in an emotive essay written for Teen Vogue.
The essay discusses the physical and emotional attraction Stoner felt towards a woman she met during a trial dance workshop.
“I left the workshop and texted my mother and best friend, saying, ‘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 discussed the realisation many people have when they’re faced with the fact they’re attracted to someone of the same sex.
“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.”
Veering away from discussing her childhood in the spotlight, the essay instead focuses on the relatable aspects of discovering your sexuality, including her relationship with her faith.
“My faith at that time played a large role in every aspect of my life, and my worldview neither supported nor accepted same-sex relationships.
“I prayed in turmoil nightly, begging to be healed from these desires. Certain pastors and community members tried to reverse and eliminate my attraction to her.
“I pored over texts, contemporary and ancient, seeking truth and answers from professors, scientists, church leaders, friends, and family.”
With a career dating back to the 90’s, the Disney star was warned coming out would ruin her career and prevent job opportunities.
This is the reality many LGBT+ stars face when casting agents are looking for leading males and females, as the industry continues to turn down stars who straight audience members couldn’t picture themselves with.
Disney is attempting to turn this attitude around after casting their first gay Disney Prince voice-actor in 2013’s Frozen, and with rumours of a lesbian Queen Elsa.
However, there’s a long way to go, and Stoner’s deeply personal essay is another breakthrough for the LGBT community and those struggling with their sexuality.
Read the full article here.