Look, we love High School Musical just as much as anybody else, but we do think the Disney Channel movie could’ve done a better job at representing more types of people — especially since high schools IRL are full of unique individuals. Well, as it turns out, Vanessa Hudgens totally agrees.
As we all know, HSM is in the process of being turned into a TV show, and the 30-year-old actress thinks it’s the perfect opportunity for HSM to include more inclusive characters.
“I think that it’s so important,” she told Gay Times. “In high school, there’s so many different types of people and everyone should be addressed. … We’re all equals, everyone has a fair shot to have their story revealed and explored.” Wow, we couldn’t agree more!
However, the actress also acknowledged that the movie came out back in 2006, when Disney Channel wasn’t quite ready to tackle LGBTQ themes.
“I think that at that time, Disney wasn’t ready for that. If it was another network… Everything has its time and place. I feel like Rent is Rent because of the spirit of it, because of the openness of it, and the vulnerability and how raw it is in exploring sexuality. I personally would’ve loved that in High School Musical and a lot of people would’ve loved that as well. But I mean, Ryan was kind of a taste of that? It was never fully explored but I don’t know how straight Ryan was…”
In addition to pushing for an LGBTQ character in the High School Musical TV series, she also thinks we should all be advocating more for LGBTQ rights in general, even if we’re not a part of the community ourselves.
The RENT: Live star said, “Not everyone is as privileged as me or had parents who were as accepting as mine were, so I think that it is really important to show people that we all just wanna be loved, and we all deserve the same life. It’s so important to fight for humanity.”
The former Disney star also went on to explain that she grew up in a household where she was taught that everyone was equal, but that she understands others didn’t have quite the same experience.
“I was very privileged in the sense that I grew up in a household where everyone was equal, I never saw color, I never saw race, I never saw sexuality or gender preference, I never saw any of that. Everyone was equal to me. … I never really batted an eye that anyone was different from me. We are different, that’s what makes us unique and individuals, but at the end of the day, we’re all human beings who want love.”
Lastly, the Princess Switch star left her female fans with an important message about loving themselves and the things that set them apart from others.
“I think it is so important for us to lean into our individuality and to embrace our weirdness, to not be afraid of being different, because God made you you for a reason, so know that in your heart, you are enough, and the more that you lean into that, the brighter you will shine.”
Clearly, Vanessa is an inspiration to us all, and like her, we’re really pulling for some LGBTQ representation in the upcoming High School Musical TV series. You hear that, Disney Channel?
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