Alyson Stoner Attended ‘Dangerous’ LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy Before Coming Out as Pansexual
Alyson Stoner opened up about her traumatic experience attending LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.
On Wednesday (June 30), Insider published an interview with the Camp Rock alum to promote her new book, Mind Body Pride: 7-Step Guide to Deeper Inner Connection.
The Cheaper by the Dozen actress, who is pansexual, told the outlet that she once admitted herself into an outpatient conversion therapy program when she fell in love with a woman for the first time, as her religion and sexuality began to conflict.
Content warning below // trauma, suicide ideation
“I know firsthand how dangerous it is for me as someone who had access to therapy and other forms of support,” Stoner shared. "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, starting to see myself as someone who only brought harm to other people to society.”
Stoner added that the therapy caused her to view her body as “shameful" and something "not to be trusted.” In turn, suppressing that part of herself rendered her unable to foster healthy relationships with herself and others.
She also noted that therapy can cause people to feel like they don’t belong, or even drive people to suicide: “The dangers are measurable. They are measurable. 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. 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.”
Though Stoner said she now realizes that sexuality is natural, her experience is still "legitimately difficult" to talk about to this day and her legs shake at the mere thought of what she went through.
Stoner first came out publicly as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in a personal essay for Teen Vogue back in 2018.
Mind Body Pride is out now, with 100 percent of proceeds from book sales going to support LGBTQIA+ youth wellness.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800-273-TALK (8255).