Let's face it: we all knew that Ryan Evans, one of the main characters of the High School Musical franchise, was part of the queer community from the start, but the Disney+ series has finally cemented it as a canon event.
Portrayed by Lucas Gabreel, the character returned in the fourth and final season of the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
In case you need a refresher, Ryan is the twin sibling and acting partner of his sister Sharpay (portrayed by Ashley Tisdale). While the franchise's first three films never explicitly stated or described him as gay, many fans already had an inkling of his sexuality based on his fashion choices and flamboyant mannerisms.
But now, these speculations have become reality as a newly released preview of the Disney+ series showed Ryan sharing a kiss with another man.
In the clip, Ryan, along with three other alumni from the original films—Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu), Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman), and Martha Cox (Kaycee Stroh)—return to their school to perform the song High School Reunion.
As the characters take a brief interval, Ryan then walks up to his partner in the audience, played by Pentatonix band member Scott Hoying.
"This means so much to me, that you are here," Ryan says before kissing his partner.
While the scene delighted many fans, some social media users shared that this didn't come as a big shock as his sexuality was already obvious even back then.
"We all knew the truth but I’m happy they’ve finally confirmed it," one user wrote.
Another one posted, "Y'all need this confirmed? Boy was so obviously gay that this was practically canon for the past 20 years."
Previously, High School Musical director Kenny Ortega already admitted that he's always intended for Ryan to be gay, but due to the conservative mindset at the time, he "didn't think" that the viewers would have liked that.
"The character of Ryan in High School Musical, Sharpay’s twin brother, we decided he’d probably going to come out in college. It was less about coming out and just more about letting his true colors come forward," Ortega said in an interview with Variety.
"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 that those who were watching would grab," he continued.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series premiered in 2019 and follows a group of teenage theater enthusiasts who participate in a staging of High School Musical: The Musical as their school production.