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Hayley Kiyoko Brought 'Lesbian Energy' To Wizards Of Waverly Place

Hayley Kiyoko Brought 'Lesbian Energy' To 'Wizards Of Waverly Place'

Hayley Kiyoko, Selena Gomez
Wizards of Waverly Place/Disney

Lesbian Jesus dished on her Disney Channel origins in a recent podcast episode.


We’re not ready to stop talking about how Alex and Stevie should have gotten together on Wizards of Waverly Place back in the day, and neither is Hayley Kiyoko.

The singer recently stopped by Wizards of Waverly Pod, a podcast hosted by former cast members Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise as they revisit the Disney Channel original series years later, to talk about her four-episode arc on the show as Stevie.

Stevie, like Alex (Selena Gomez), was a wizard, and the two quickly became close pals. But queer fans saw something more than that between them — something Kiyoko admits she didn’t fully realize at the time.

“I booked the role and honestly, I had no notion or thoughts that there was some kind of like, undertone or underlying like, storyline that was going on,” she admitted.

While she may be fondly known as Lesbian Jesus to her fanbase now, the “Girls Like Girls” was still in the closet at the time, which she thinks may have played a role in her not picking up on what viewers saw right away.

“When I rewatched the episodes, I see that. The lesbian energy was really thriving at that moment,” she said, joking that she was “just, like, naturally very gay.”

Kiyoko’s comments come just two months after Wizards of Waverly Place showrunner Peter Murrieta stunned fans by acknowledging the pairing on the podcast, and confessing that he and the other writers wished they had been able to follow through on the chemistry between the two.

“We could have played more with the relationship between Stevie and Alex,” he said. “But we weren’t able to in that time. But it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was.”

Elsewhere in her episode of podcast, Kiyoko also discussed her fears surrounding being outed while she was still working for the Disney Channel, as she was concerned she would lose out on roles because of it.

“They might think it’s threatening to the youth,” she recalled thinking, “which is lol because I knew I was a lesbian since I was five. There was a lot of layers to that, I think, as an actor. And when I found music and was able to start exploring that more, I was able to feel freer in my sexuality and getting to share that with people.”

It seems to be a somewhat common trajectory for young queer Disney stars, although hopefully we’re moving towards a place where the beginning of that journey won’t be hampered by the same fears. And maybe the next time the chemistry between two same-sex actors on a Disney show is too obvious to miss, like it was with Alex and Stevie, the writers will actually be able to give the fans what they want to see.

When did Hayley Kiyoko come out?

Kiyoko came out publicly in 2015 with the release of her "Girls Like Girls" music video.

Was Hayley Kiyoko on the Disney Channel?

Yes, Kiyoko appeared in four episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, the movie Lemonade Mouth, and one episode of Zeke and Luther early in her career.

Is Hayley Kiyoko in a relationship?

Kiyoko has been dating Becca Tilley since 2018.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.