Hayley Kiyoko says her ‘lesbian energy was really thriving’ while on Wizards of Waverly Place

Hayley Kiyoko in Disney's Wizards fo Waverly Place (left) and on a red carpet

Hayley Kiyoko has opened up about bringing lesbian energy to Wizards of Waverly Place after its showrunners revealed they wanted to explore a queer relationship for her character Stevie.

Wizards of Waverly Place was undeniably a Disney Channel classic. Not only did it kick-start the career of then little-known star Selena Gomez, but also David Henrie’s character, Justin Russo, sparked the sexual awakening of many gay men. Meanwhile, actor Dan Benson – Zeke Beakerman in the show – is now getting his wand out in an entirely different way.

Among all this, Kiyoko, aka lesbian Jesus, took a star turn as Stevie Nichols, one of Alex’s (Gomez) best friends during the sitcom’s third season.

The show came back into the conversation recently when show executive producer Peter Murrieta told the Wizards of Waverly Pod podcast that he knew a relationship between Alex and Stevie was “obvious” – but that they weren’t allowed to explore it.

Appearing on the same podcast, actor-turned-pop-princess Kiyoko, who also featured in The Vampire Diaries, has now stirred the “Stalex” hive again, by sharing memories of her own sexuality at the time of filming.

“I was naturally very gay,” she told hosts Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise, who played Harper Finkle and Jerry Russo respectively.

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“I booked the role and, honestly, I had no notion or thoughts that there was some kind of undertone or underlying storyline that was going on,” she said, before revealing that something in her own “sapphic-osphere” was definitely shifting, despite the not being out.

“The lesbian energy was really thriving at that moment. But I was in the closet to the public at that time.”

Images from Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place featuring Selena Gomez and Hayley Kiyoko as Alex and Stevie.
Everyone knew Wizards of Waverly Place‘s Alex and Stevie (l) were meant to be together. (Getty/Disney Channel)

Hayley Kiyoko only came out when she released the beloved pop anthem “Girls Like Girls”, years after Wizards had ended its four-season run.

“It’s funny to look back and it’s really so much fun to hear the fans’ reactions to Stalex and the comments of everyone just being like, ‘This is so gay’,” she said. “I was just a baby Hayley in the closet at that time.”

Kiyoko’s The Panorama Tour kicked off on 5 April. Tickets are still available here here.

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