Alyson Stoner got candid about her “dangerous” experience with LGBTQIA+ conversion therapy.
As you may know, the 27-year-old actress first came out in 2018 in an emotional essay for Teen Vogue and explained how she is “attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways.” Alyson also wrote at the time how she entered therapy after falling in love with a woman in order to “identify the source of [her] attraction.” The Disney alum added how she even often wished for her feelings to disappear while working with her pastors, saying:
“Like many, I had internalized some of the harmful beliefs and misconceptions about LGBTQ people and identities. 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.”
Now, Stoner opened up about undergoing with what she referred to as an “outpatient variation” of conversion therapy before coming out in an interview with Insider. The professional dancer, who now identifies as pansexual, shared how she sought the traumatizing therapy because she felt “stuck,” “wretched,” and “like everything was wrong with [her].” Alyson further explained:
“I felt like everything was wrong with me, even though I, in my heart of hearts, only desired to be a devoted follower of God. So to hear from people you trust, from people you respect, from people you might even aspire to become, that you at your core are ‘rotten,’ ‘abominable,’ that the devil has a target on your back because of your position in Hollywood … it just sends you into a spiral, at least for me, because I just wanted to do the right thing.”
The Mind Body Pride author went on to say how things she endured while in conversion therapy are “legitimately difficult” for her to discuss and still haunts her to this day:
“My mind doesn’t want to even go there. My legs started shaking at the thought of reliving some of it. I know firsthand how dangerous it is for me as someone who had access to therapy and other forms of support. And I still was considering whether my life was worth living or, if everything was wrong with me, then what good was it for me to be around. [I started] to see myself as someone who only brought harm to other people to society.”
Wow. It’s just so heartbreaking and difficult to read about how she felt — especially knowing that there are certainly others who are still grappling with their sexuality and may feel this way too.
Unfortunately, the negative impact did not end there, as Alyson recalled:
“It severs the mind-body connection because I see the body as something that is shameful, that is not to be trusted and it actually ends up messing with my ability to foster genuine relationships with others and myself because now I’m suppressing a voice. I’m trying to change something that is what I now understand very natural.”
And looking back, Stoner said while “the dangers are measurable” with conversion therapy, there are also a ton of repercussions for those who survive the trauma as well:
“Even if someone comes out of it on the other side and says, ‘Hey, no, I’m living a great life,’ there are scars there. There are shadows. And if you don’t have access to a ton of support and you’re navigating that alone, it is heavy. It is hard, so yes, I’m not capable yet of going back and recounting specifics, which is an indicator of just how difficult that chapter was for me.”
You can read Alyson’s entire shocking interview with Insider HERE. Reactions to what the Step Up star had to say about her painful experiences with conversion therapy, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Image via Alyson Stoner/Instagram]