Los Angeles, Mar 31 (PTI) Former Disney Channel actor Alyson Stoner has opened up about her struggle to embrace her sexuality in an essay.

In the piece published in Teen Vogue, Alyson described how she realised she was not attracted to just men after she became “mesmerised and intimidated” when she attended a dance workshop and met her female instructor.

“After I dizzied myself from doing knee spins, she walked toward me to correct my form,”she wrote. “My heart raced wildly and my body grew hot. Was I nervous to fail in front of an expert? Was I breathing heavily from being out of shape? Her smile was the most electrifying thing I’d ever seen.” Post her class, Alyson texted her mother and her best friend, writing, “I met a woman today, I’m not sure who she is or what I’m feeling, but I think she’s going to be in my life for a very long time.” The actor said as she got to know the dance instructor, she also struggled with her feelings that were not “quite sisterly or platonic.” “I realised I had never fantasised 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.” Alyson said the relationship progressed, leading to the two of them spending more time together.

“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,” she added.

The actor, however, tried to deny her feelings for the woman prior to that and said she attended therapy for years in an attempt to figure out where her attraction was stemming from.

She struggled to accept her sexuality, admitting she had “internalised some of the harmful beliefs and misconceptions about LGBTQ people and identities.” Alyson, however, now accepts who she is and who she loves.

“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.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.