Explaining why she's an advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, "High School Musical" veteran Vanessa Hudgens says she "doesn't see people as gay or straight."
"People can be very close-minded and I think it's not right. I don't think it's fair," the 26-year-old singer-actress, who is currently starring in the Broadway revival of "Gigi," tells GLAAD's Claire Pires in an April 22 interview. "I think it's important for us to stand up for people and to have each other's back, and to be involved with the gay community and support the community."
She went on to note, "I'm a very open person. Love comes first for me."
The star's latest role on the New York stage seems to fit in with that aforementioned motto, too. In the musical, Hudgens plays Gigi, a young courtesan-in-training in turn-of-the-century Paris who wins the heart of a dashing playboy (Corey Cott).
The character, Hudgens says, is "a strong, independent, powerful, young woman" and "a nice lovely little reminder of how you are in control of your future and your happiness no matter what anyone else might think."
Hudgens previously discussed the gay appeal of her work in a 2011 interview with The Advocate. In addition to "High School Musical," which had a large LGBT fanbase, Hudgens worked with openly gay director Daniel Barnz on "Beastly." She also played Mimi in a 2010 staging of "Rent," helmed by Neil Patrick Harris, in Los Angeles.
That doesn't mean, however, that the sexuality of her directors or co-stars had any impact on her enthusiasm for a given film or stage role.
"When it comes to the projects I choose, I just go with my gut instinct, and hopefully people will enjoy the ride I take them on," she said at the time.