High School Musical Director Kenny Ortega Explained Why Ryan Evans Wasn’t Openly Gay

Kenny Ortega just revealed a widespread theory about Ryan Evans from High School Musical. No, not the fact that he and Sharpay were inarguably more talented and professional than Gabriella and Troy. That little fact about the conniving thespian twins, portrayed for three movies by Lucas Grabeel and Ashley Tisdale, needs no confirmation.

On June 30, the director and choreographer spoke to Variety about his work as an LGBTQ+ filmmaker, saying he believed a queer aesthetic runs through all of his films. This includes High School Musical, a generally straight story of a "shy" cool girl and a jock who fall in love after stealing the lead roles in a musical from two people who worked their asses off for years…. Sorry, I'm clearly still not over it. At least that jock was Zac Efron.

Anyway, Ortega confirmed that Ryan was in the closet during his years at East High School. 

“The character of Ryan in High School Musical, Sharpay’s twin brother, we decided he’s probably going to come out in college,” Ortega said. “It was less about coming out and just more about letting his true colors come forward.”

Ortega then admitted he omitted Ryan's sexuality over fear that Disney wouldn't “be ready to cross that line” when the movie aired in 2006, or even in subsequent films. 

Despite prefacing his comments by saying Disney is the “most progressive group of people” the director has worked with, he said, “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. They would see it, they would feel it, they would know it, and they would identify with it. And that is what happened."

Well, there you go. Meanwhile, I'm still thinking about the genius that is "Bop to the Top."

Emily Tannenbaum is a freelance writer and the weekend editor at Glamour. Follow her on Twitter.

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Originally Appeared on Glamour