Alyson Stoner, the Disney Channel icon you may remember from Mike's Super Short Show, Camp Rock, or, perhaps most powerfully, Cheaper By The Dozen 2, has come out as queer in a personal essay for Teen Vogue.
The dancer, actress, and singer shared the story of how she fell in love with a woman and was forced to confront her identity and faith head-on.
"I spent years--not months or weeks or days, but years--trying to identify the source of my attraction to her," she writes. "Like many, I had internalized some of the harmful beliefs and misconceptions about LGBTQ people and identities. At the time, I thought, Maybe it's because I moved away from my father as a child and didn't have typical male guidance in my life."
The reckoning came when she gave up trying to deny who she was and admitted to herself the truth about her sexuality, whatever the consequences might be.
"'If by being honest I get banished to hell, so be it. I can't do this anymore. I'm sorry,'" she continues. "Right then I expected absolute emptiness, the height of despair and the lowest point in my life. I instead felt an inexplicable embrace. Slowly, a curiosity set in, as if giving up might actually be the impetus needed to see life, God, love, humanity, and (literally) everything in a new way. I'm not talking about believing whatever I felt like; rather, I felt a transformation, an ascension, an approach to life rooted in real love."
The news comes just as Stoner releases her new single "When It's Right," inspired by her lover.
She makes her statement inescapably clear when she writes: "I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways. I can love people of every gender identity and expression."
Take a listen to "When It's Right" below, and read the full essay at Teen Vogue.