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‘High School Musical’ airs gay love ballad in first for Disney

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series featured Disney's first ballad written for a same-sex couple

Frankie A. Rodriguez, Joe Serafini, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, gay, couple, disney
Frankie A. Rodriguez and Joe Serafini in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series — Photo by Fred Hayes for Disney

Disney streaming series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has marked a major milestone for the company after debuting a gay love ballad.

The latest episode of the Disney+ show, “The Transformation,” featured Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez) singing to boyfriend Seb (Joe Serafini) after they experienced their first fight.

The song, “In a Heartbeat,” is notable for being Disney’s first ever ballad written specifically for a same-sex couple, Huffington Post reports.

Rodriguez told Huffington Post that the song is “the moment where Carlos is reassuring Seb, ‘You’re it, I really feel strongly about you, I choose you’ — that’s the lyric.”

“We learn so much from television, so it’s important to show the different types of people who are out there,”  he added. “That adds to having compassion and learning how to understand people.”

Serafini said that he wanted the scene between their characters to show LGBTQ youth that “there’s something you can look toward.”

Adding another layer to the emotional scene, both actors — Rodriguez and Serafini — are LGBTQ and also dating in real life.

“We share everything together and it’s honestly just a joy,” Serafini said. “The fun thing about playing Carlos and Seb is that they’re characters, and we leave them in that universe before we go home and just be ourselves.”

The scene also features main character Ricky accompanying Carlos on acoustic guitar. Joshua Bassett, who plays Ricky, came out as LGBTQ earlier this year.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has gained something of a reputation for its LGBTQ nature.

Carlos became the first openly gay character in the High School Musical franchise when he was introduced in the show’s first season.

Seb, originally intended to be a recurring character, was promoted to a series regular for the show’s second season, with Seb and Carlos progressing to a full relationship.

In addition to Rodriguez, Serafini, and Bassett, co-star Ashlyn Caswell is pansexual, and fellow cast member Larry Saperstein came out as bisexual during Pride Month this year.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series‘ third season is currently releasing new episodes weekly on Disney+, with the first two seasons available to binge now.

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