Ryan Evans is breaking free—and living his best life.
Lucas Grabeel returns to the High School Musical franchise in the fourth and final season of the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, reprising his beloved role as one half of the Evans twins. And it seems a lot has happened since Ryan last stepped foot in East High School.
As seen in a newly released preview of HSMTMTS' swan song, Ryan shares a kiss with another man and thanks him for showing up to watch him perform with former classmates Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu), Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman) and Martha Cox (Kaycee Stroh).
"This means so much to me that you're here," Ryan says as the two meet backstage. "Gimme that mic."
Previously, HSM director Kenny Ortega said that he's always intended for the Ryan character to be gay, but "didn't think" that audiences would be comfortable with it when the movie musical premiered 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," he explained to Variety in 2020. "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."
While Kenny is not involved in HSMTMTS, he said he's always imagined that Ryan was "probably going to come out in college."
"It was less about coming out," the filmmaker shared, "and just more about letting his true colors come forward."
So, what have Ryan's fellow Wildcats been up to since their high school graduation? The word's still out on Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) and Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale)—who were all mentioned but not seen in the HSMTMTS' latest teaser.
"Have you seen Sharpay, Troy or Gabriella?" Coach Bolton (Bart Johnson) asks, to which Martha responds, "Not yet, coach. They have been silent in the group chat."
Season four of HSMTMTS premieres Aug. 9 on Disney+.