Alyson Stoner claims their professional career took a serious hit after coming out as queer.
The former child star, who remains best known to millions of millennials as a background dancer for Eminem and Missy Elliott, revealed earlier this month that she was fired from a kids’ show after identifying as they/them — which Stoner began in 2018.
“I did end up getting fired from a children’s show because they felt that I was unsafe, now that they knew I was queer, to be around kids,” said Stoner on the June 8 episode of the podcast “I’m Literally Screaming with Spencewuah.”
Stoner starred in immensely popular Disney shows, including “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” “That’s So Raven” and “Drake & Josh.” They were a quadruple threat since childhood, however, studying ballet and modeling — before releasing several pop albums.
The actor published a Teen Vogue essay in 2018 stating they were attracted to “men, women and people who identify in other ways.” While written to be “fair” to their girlfriend by no longer keeping the relationship secret, the consequences rapidly reared their head.
Even Stoner’s manager, Kevin Jonas Sr., warned them of the “potential risk.”
“It [was] totally my choice, but it could affect not only people’s perceptions but also, like, hireability for jobs,” they said on the podcast, noting they felt the “beauty” of coming out would “far outweigh the hate comments and death threats” that ensued.
However, it only took a few months for Stoner to stop being so open with the public.
“I don’t feel comfortable labeling my sexual orientation or even faith at the moment,” they reportedly said in late 2018. “Not because I’m afraid of the words… or being stereotyped, but because there’s a certain magic in letting the sediment keep swirling in the water.”
Stoner told Insider in 2021 they previously considered “whether life was worth living,” however because all they desired was “to be a devoted follower of God” only for “people you respect” to denounce them as “rotten” and “abominable” for being queer.
Stoner even attended “gay conversion” therapy to reconcile their sexuality with their faith.
“Queer folks (and non-queer, too!) frequently suppress a part or all of who we are … We may silence the wisdom of our bodies and neglect our basic needs,” Stoner wrote on June 6 on Instagram. “Learning how to listen and rebuild trust with our bodies is essential.”