The High School Musical universe has confirmed what fans knew all along — Ryan Evans is gay.
Disney+ shared the first few minutes of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 4 on Tuesday, July 25, which featured a glimpse at the fictional filming of High School Musical 4. In the show, Lucas Grabeel, Kaycee Stroh, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Alyson Reed and Bart Johnson play themselves while reprising their roles from the hit Disney franchise for a reunion film.
In the clip, Grabeel’s Ryan shares a kiss with his husband — Scott Hoying, who brings the unnamed newcomer to life as he supports Ryan’s decision to return to his roots at East High School.
Ryan’s sexuality was one of High School Musical‘s biggest mysteries since the original films aired from 2006 to 2008. In High School Musical 3, Ryan seemingly sparked a romance with fellow student Kelsi Nielsen (Olesya Rulin) as they attended the prom together. Fans, however, questioned whether Ryan actually had an interest in Chad Danforth (Bleu) after they swapped outfits in the second film following their “I Don’t Dance” performance.
“I put a lot of who I am into my work. I think, yeah, that it’s just there, and whether it’s screaming at you, or whether it’s just sort of quietly there, it’s there,” Ortega, 73, who is openly gay himself, told Variety in June 2020. “We decided he’s probably going to come out in college. It was less about coming out and just more about letting his true colors come forward.”
Ortega went on to explain why Ryan’s sexuality couldn’t be discussed when the musical film came out.
“I have to be honest with you. I didn’t think at the time [it would] — and Disney is the most progressive group of people I’ve ever worked with,” he added at the time, noting that the studio “might not be ready to cross that line and move into that territory yet” considering High School Musical catered to family and kids.
The choreographer continued: “So, I just took it upon myself to make choices that I felt that those who were watching would grab. They would see it, they would feel it, they would know it and they would identify with it. And that is what happened. I have to say thousands of kids that have said, ‘If it weren’t for High School Musical, I don’t know that I would have ever been comfortable in my skin. I don’t know when I would have been able to feel comfortable enough to come out, embrace who I am.'”
The fourth and final season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series premieres on Disney+ August 9.