Alyson Stoner is opening up.
In a piece published by Teen Vogue on Friday, the Step Up actress reveals she fell in love with a woman, and shares her years-long journey to finally accepting her sexuality.
Stoner began her essay by describing the day she met the woman at a dance workshop, recalling knowing that she was "going to be in my life for a very long time."
"Our bond didn't feel quite sisterly or platonic," she wrote. "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."
"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," Stoner continued. "OK, we were in a relationship. I fell in love with a woman."
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Stoner then described the years she spent in therapy "trying to identify the source of my attraction to her."
"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 pursued physical relationships with men to convince myself that my love for her was just a spiritual battle attacking my character and discernment," she remembered.
"I’ll never forget the night I finally collapsed on my bed with tear-stained cheeks, saying, 'God, if I’m evil, then I accept this and give up. I’ve believed you are loving, but I don’t want to live a lie. If by being honest I get banished to hell, so be it. I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry,'" the 24-year-old actress continued. "I felt a transformation, an ascension, an approach to life rooted in real love."
"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," she wrote. "It is the love we can build and the goodness we can contribute to the world by supporting each other’s best journeys."