High School Musical confirms Ryan Evans’ sexuality with gay kiss: ‘He found his soul mate’

LGBTQ+ fans are rejoicing after Disney+’s High School Musical spin-off series officially confirmed that Ryan Evans is gay.

Coming to Disney+ next month, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (HSMTMTS) fourth and final season will finally address the big gay elephant in the room.

Since the original Disney Channel High School Musical trilogy (2006-2008) was released, fans have been united in one thought: East High student, Sharpay Evans’ brother, and musical theatre extraordinaire, Ryan (played by Lucas Grabeel) was undeniably gay.

Ryan followed the fate of pretty much every queer-coded character from the ’00s and his sexuality was never explicitly confirmed on screen… until now.

Fifteen years on, Ryan is breaking free by getting the queer redemption arc he deserves.

It’s time for the high school reunion we’ve all been waiting for… Here’s a sneak peek of the opening number of #HSMTMTS, streaming August 9 on @DisneyPlus! pic.twitter.com/UUhsY1RXU5

— HSM: The Musical: The Series (@hsmseries) July 25, 2023

A sneak peek from the upcoming season teased the highly anticipated High School Musical reunion between Corbin Bleu (who played Chad), Grabeel, Monique Coleman (Taylor) and KayCee Stroh (Martha) on the East High School stage.

While performing an extravagant musical number, Ryan, wearing a purple flat cap and sparkling blazer ensemble, hops off the stage. He approaches a man (played by musician Scott Hoying) in the audience who says: “You look amazing, this is so cool” to which Ryan responds: “This means so much to me that you are here”.

Then, to everyone’s delight, the man tells Ryan he loves him and they kiss on the lips. Since this is only the teaser clip, we just have to hope that we’ll see more of the couple during the new season.

Back in the day, Ryan’s camp fashion sense, complete lack of toxic masculinity and painfully forced crush on shy school pianist Kelsi (Olesya Rulin) had everyone’s gaydar going off. The theory about Ryan’s sexuality was further fuelled in High School Musical 2 when fans noted his amazing chemistry with fellow student Chad on the baseball court after they had a highly charged “I Don’t Dance” showdown.

It’s not clear whether High School Musical‘s main stars Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella), Zac Efron (Troy) and Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay) will reprise their roles, although they were mentioned during the clip as being noticeably absent.

Is Lucas Gabreel gay?

Lucas Grabeel has previously addressed both his and Ryan’s sexuality. (Getty)

Although this is our first on-screen confirmation, it’s not the first time Ryan’s ambiguous sexuality has come up.

Grabeel addressed his own sexuality in an interview with TMZ in 2020. He admitted that as a “straight white man” he doesn’t know if he would play Ryan were the films made today.

“There [are] so many amazingly talented gay actors that could do it as well,” he said. “I would love to, but I just don’t know.

“The last thing that I want to do is take that opportunity away from other people and, as a straight white man, I know that even without trying I have taken opportunities away from people.”

He then recalled a conversation he had with High School Musical ‘s director. According to the actor, Kenny Ortega said that the subject was too “touchy” to confirm in the script.

Grabeel’s comments came after Ortega himself confirmed in an interview with Variety that Ryan was always gay despite not explicitly confirming it in 2006.

“I was concerned, because it was family and kids, that Disney might not be ready to cross that line and move into that territory yet. So, I just took it upon myself to make choices that I felt those 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.”

How have fans reacted to Ryan Evans finally living his best gay life?

The news has sent High School Musical fans, old and new, on to social media.

“Everyone knew this man was gay since the first High School Musical,” one person wrote, echoing several fans‘ sentiment.

ryan evans found his soulmate pic.twitter.com/NF6aJ0S4ai

— virginia (@quinnxlover) July 25, 2023


— ann (@quandromache) July 25, 2023

“Ryan evans from high school musical confirmed gay” pic.twitter.com/FHXxhSJrrI

— ༺ ty (@firstqrince) July 25, 2023

Ryan Evans from High School Musical is finally confirmed to be gay…ITS BEEN 84 YEARS BUT IT IS NOW CANON FINALLY FUCK pic.twitter.com/P4abDDJplb

— onna🩷 (@onnaelise10) July 26, 2023

No but could you imagine watching High School Musical back in 2006 and for the next 17 years of your life you thought Ryan Evans was straight.

— Audrey Ratajack (@Audrey_Ratajack) July 25, 2023

Cannot confirm the theory yet, but pretty sure the whole reason I felt comfortable coming out to my friends and family was because I knew we’d all seen High School Musical and we all damn well knew Ryan Evans was gay and no one gave a damn

— nadia (@naddlenoodle) July 26, 2023

Others, however, have argued that even if it was obvious, the official confirmation is still important.

“Everyone saying ‘we already knew’ should realise back in the day it wasn’t allowed to be made explicit and Disney even went as far as to try to imply he and Kelsi were together in the third movie. This is a big deal and is worth celebrating,” one fan noted.

everyone’s like wbk which ya obviously we knew but this is everything considering lucas and kenny wanted to just be able to say it in 2006 but couldn’t, it’s nice to see that 17 years later this can be confirmed https://t.co/9j6v4X4pW6

— ice (@lgbtkendrick) July 25, 2023

Ok everyone in the qrt’s being like “yea we already knew” That’s the fucking point. Disney didn’t allow them to make it explicit before. Lucas has said many times that he played Ryan knowing that the character was gay. We are finally allowed to have this after all these years. https://t.co/QZ96OSe3nX

— kit ︎| meddler day (@_DeadEndia_) July 25, 2023

But mostly, fans are reminiscing and mourning the couple-who-never-were: Chad and Ryan.

chad and ryan, you will ALWAYS be famous. high school musical would not be the same without you. pic.twitter.com/ihqw3MV5k6

— Aina Reese (@reesecup_GO) July 25, 2023

Chad and Ryan invented love they should’ve been the stars of high school musical https://t.co/QvkEE9VC1W pic.twitter.com/5IvIZ97WAe

— Ripley // BLM (@OdemayArts) July 24, 2023

this was all the confirmation we needed https://t.co/NJ0blcRqAv pic.twitter.com/Y5grWyobDe

— mal! (@photonsmight) July 25, 2023

let us always remember that time in high school musical 2 where chad and ryan switched clothes for no reason pic.twitter.com/h8qayDOZlD

— Aina Reese (@reesecup_GO) July 25, 2023

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series returns to Disney+ on 9 August.

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