“I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways.”
This is Alyson Stoner. She’s an actress, singer, and dancer.
You might recognize her from Missy Elliott’s early 2000’s videos, the Step Up movies, and the Cheaper by the Dozen flicks.
And in a recent essay titled “How I Embraced My Sexual Identity” for Teen Vogue, Alyson writes about falling in love with a female dance instructor. It’s honestly really, really beautiful.
… The question of whether she was a cool new friend or more kept me awake in wonderment and dread. I tried to be patient and stifle the emotions so I could think objectively. Our bond didn't feel quite sisterly or platonic. Flashes of her smile progressed to flashes of her wavy hair followed by the curve of her hips through her straight-leg pants. 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. But wasn’t that just societal conditioning or the unattainable beauty standards that fuel comparison and objectification? I refused to entertain other possibilities.
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. I fell in love with a woman.
Alyson then spoke about how she ended up spending years in therapy, and about how “certain pastors and community members tried to reverse and eliminate” the attraction.
“I pursued physical relationships with men to convince myself that my love for her was just a spiritual battle attacking my character and discernment. I pored over texts, contemporary and ancient, seeking truth and answers from professors, scientists, church leaders, friends, and family. I didn’t want to get this wrong. After all, not only was I trying to be a 'good and upright' person, but I’m also a public figure with responsibility and extreme pressure.”
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.
Thank you, Alyson. Just thank you.