Disney+ star Frankie Rodriguez loves playing a gay character on TV, hopes to inspire others

The "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" star loves embracing his LGBTQ identity to play a gay character on screen.
Like most young Latinx LGBTQ+ people, Frankie Rodriguez, who stars in the Disney+ original series "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," didn't have many role models to look up to, especially on television.

Rodriguez came out at a young age and took inspiration from young, queer Latinx characters that he saw on TV growing up.

"'Ugly Betty' was definitely one of the first ones to make me pause in my tracks -- like I could be on TV," Rodriguez told On The Red Carpet's Karl Schmid.

In the "High School Musical" spinoff series, Rodriguez plays Carlos -- a high school student who is also openly gay.

"Growing up gay in high school was a very specific experience and if you didn't go through it, how are you supposed to draw from that?" Rodriguez added.

Playing Carlos on the show allows Rodriguez to draw from his own years in high school and his own experiences growing up queer and inject those into the character. All the while, he hopes that he can inspire other young people to feel comfortable in their own skin.

"People are really, really into celebrating being themselves and the fact that we take a whole month to really reflect and say this is who we are -- that's special," Rodriguez said.
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