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After three movies and countless stage adaptations, Disney’s High School Musical finally has its first same-sex romance

Emma Powys Maurice December 10, 2019
High School Musical

Actor Frankie A. Rodriguez plays Carlos, the franchise's first openly gay character (YouTube/Disney)

Disney’s High School Musical is finally getting its first gay romance more than two decades since the first instalment of the franchise aired on our screens.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, airing exclusively on streaming service Disney+, will see its first out gay character, Carlos, in a romantic relationship with Seb after teaching him how to dance. Like all relationships on series, theirs will simply ‘exist’ without any unnecessary focus on sexuality.

“This is a story that would have changed my life if I had seen it when I was a kid,” showrunner Tim Federle told The Los Angeles Times. “And the reason it would have changed my life is because it’s no big deal. It’s actually just real life.”

The love story begins in episode five, which opens with the typically confident Carlos (played by Frankie A. Rodriguez) in a rare moment of vulnerability. After rehearsing a dance with Seb (played by Joe Serafini), Carlos asks his crush to the Homecoming dance.

“It’s such a tender scene, and I have been in that situation in my real life,” Federle said. “That nervous energy of like, ‘Do I ask him? Do I take the chance? What does rejection feel like?’

“Everything was just really honest, and so, as an actor, to play that was so much fun.”

We won’t give any more of the story away, except to say that the script reportedly gave Serafini “chills” when he first read it.

“I never felt comfortable enough to express myself in the way that I felt I could around my theatre friends, and it’s just a really beautiful moment,” the actor said.

“Just the fact that they can go to the dance together at all and no one can … turn their heads or think anything different because it’s just today’s world. We’re all just out here loving each other and minding our own business.”

More: Disney, Frankie A. Rodriguez, high school musical, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Joe Serafini

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