Ortega tells Variety's Power of Pride issue that Ryan Evans, played by Lucas Grabeel, would have "probably ... come out in college." "It was less about coming out and just more about letting his true colors come forward," says Ortega, noting that he "didn't think at the time" that he could have had an openly gay character on Disney Channel. "And Disney is the most progressive group of people I’ve ever worked with," he adds. "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."