Disney Channel star Alyson Stoner opened up about her sexuality in a touching essay detailing how she fell in love with a woman.
"A girl who changed everything I knew about myself as a woman, human being, and performer," the actress began in an essay published Friday in Teen Vogue.
Stoner, 24, who's appeared in Disney's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and became famous after dancing in a music video for Missy Elliott, said she met her unnamed significant other while taking a dance workshop.
"I was running late and tiptoed to the back as everyone drilled the first move," she wrote. "I skimmed the room to find the instructor. 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."
Eventually, Stoner wrote that after the two became friends they later decided "we were in a relationship."
I can love people of every gender identity and expression.
"I fell in love with a woman," she added.
The "Camp Rock" actress said that due to her faith and troubled heterosexual relationships, it took her a while to come to the realization that perhaps she liked women beyond friendship. She even sought help to rid herself of her same-sex feelings.
"Come to think of it, I stared at women’s bodies more than anything," she wrote. "But wasn’t that just societal conditioning or the unattainable beauty standards that fuel comparison and objectification? I refused to entertain other possibilities."
Stoner continued, "Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced abuse from men and therefore I’m scared of intimacy with them (and in general). Maybe it’s because open sexuality is prevalent in my artistic community and I subconsciously just want to fit in. Maybe I actually want to be her, and I’m mistaking idolization for romance. Anything besides being gay, please!"
Eventually, Stoner came to accept herself as she is -- without putting labels on herself.
"I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways," she wrote. "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."
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