The Disney+ original series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series just made franchise history by introducing its first-ever teen gay romance. In the show’s most recent episode, titled “Homecoming,” love was in the air when the musical’s choreographer, Carlos, asked Seb to accompany him to the school dance.
When the time for the dance finally arrived, it looked like Carlos was left stranded, but Seb eventually joined him and the characters — played by Frankie Rodriguez and Joe Serafini — shared their first dance together.
Series’ creator Tim Federle recently revealed the story behind the high schoolers’ budding love story and it was sparked by Frankie’s audition for the show. The 23-year-old performed an a cappella version of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
“This is a story that would have changed my life if I had seen it when I was a kid. And the reason it would have changed my life is because it’s no big deal. It’s actually just real life,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “I saw in Frankie what I see more and more in a younger generation, which is a freedom of expression, of really being who they truly are in a way that I certainly didn’t feel when I was in high school and I was in the closet. When he sang that song so joyfully and freely, I was like, ‘I think there’s a story here.’”
During the same interview, Frankie got real about how this episode reflected the major changes in society since the first High School Musical film was released in 2006.
“I think we kind of forget where we were 13 years ago. Gay marriage wasn’t legal, so even though it seems like that was 50 years away, it really wasn’t,” he explained. “[The series is] really shedding light as to what high school life is like right now and making sure that those kids that have never seen themselves onscreen have, finally, someone to connect to.”
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