Lessons From Disney Star Alyson Stoner’s Coming Out Essay
Disney star Alyson Stoner came out in an emotional <a href="https://www.teenvogue.com/story/alyson-stoner-when-its-right">essay in <em>Teen Vogue</em></a>.
Disney star Alyson Stoner came out in an emotional essay in Teen Vogue.(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Lessons From Disney Star Alyson Stoner’s Coming Out Essay

Remember Max from Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody? Or Camille from the Step Up movies?

Yes, we’re talking about Alyson Stoner who came out in an emotional essay in Teen Vogue.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Besides working in movies and television, Stoner also works as a background dancer in music videos. She is one of the youngest dancers to teach a masters class at the Millennium Dance Complex, LA.

Also Read : What’s ‘Unnatural’: Homosexuality or Homophobia?

Here are some lessons that Stoner’s heartfelt confession taught us:

It’s Okay to be Confused

“Do it. Just say something. No, don’t. Don’t stare. Side-hug and leave. No. Ask for her number. Why are you panicking? She’s just a girl.”

That’s how Stoner begins her story of falling in love with a woman, a story that is not without its share of dilemmas and confusions.

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In the article, Stoner does not shy away from accepting her own prejudices as she tackles the many debates inside her mind.

At the time, I thought... maybe it’s because I’ve experienced abuse from men and therefore I’m scared of intimacy with them (and in general)... maybe I actually want to be her, and I’m mistaking idolisation for romance.
Alyson Stoner

It Takes Time to Step Up Against Social Norms

While untangling these questions, Stoner confesses running into walls of social conditioning built in and around her since childhood. Her faith and professional circle played a significant role in cementing this wall, she says.

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Certain pastors and community members tried to reverse and eliminate my attraction to her. I pursued physical relationships with men to convince myself that my love for her was just a spiritual battle attacking my character and discernment. 
Alyson Stoner
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Acceptance is Key

For LGBTQ+ people in India and around the world, an ongoing battle is the battle for acceptance. People have been fighting for their rights as citizens protected by the law and as individuals wanting to be integrated in the social fabric.

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This battle for acceptance is also one of self-acceptance, as Stoner points out.

I’m asking you to accept me as I accept myself.
Alyson Stoner

How to Write About Love

Finally, let’s talk about the way the essay has been penned. It is, among other things, a beautiful expression of love.

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I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways. 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.
Alyson Stoner

Stoner’s new single, “When It’s Right,” also documents her journey and is, as she writes, “the first painting of a vivid new world I now call home.”

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