|“||I loved someone... who loved me. But my parents destroyed it.||”|
Brett Shimura is a not-so-popular student at East High School. Despite, his outwardly happy and often times, lovable demeanor, Brett is simply a lost, innocent, young boy trying to figure out who he is. The discovery of himself becomes much more difficult after being shunned by his parents. We’ve only seen Brett drop the mask completely a few times, so we’re still getting to know the true him.
Due to stress, anxiety issues, loneliness, depression, and an apparent psychological disorder, Brett left a trail of devastation in his self-esteem. The anxiety and stress Brett feels about how he looks takes an actual toll on his face. This reflects his mental health and emotional state as his whole self-decays. This is shown repeatedly by him pushing the people he might have known could've been there for him and cared for him, or by being more quiet and more reserved and closed person. Brett just wants to have friends, and wants to be loved and wants to be surrounded by people. Brett struggles to deal with the broken pieces of his family and remains quiet more and more to his peers and everyone else. With this, Brett further isolates himself from the rest of the world and becomes increasingly more paranoid and alone. His struggles aren’t shown to others, which could make anyone think he’s simply lonely. However, he’s actually quite broken inside. Brett doesn't understand feelings very well, and he thinks he's mucking up a friendship with romantic feelings, because he's never really felt love before.
Even though a very emotional Brett comes out to Troy Bolton in The Start of Something New, he thinks he didn't address the situation the right way; Brett thinks it was his way of not knowing how to communicate feelings and still figuring out his sexuality. There is some definite proof of Brett's sexuality, however his flamboyant fashion choices, and his charming interactive showdown with Troy in Pilot, seem to point to Brett being of homosexual nature.
Personality and Traits
As a social outcast, Brett Shimura is socially awkward but down-to-earth for someone who dresses in such an stylish manner. He is also sweet, kind-hearted, naïve and polite, but slow-witted, and quiet. Though he is generally kind to people around him, Brett has a sensitive nature and highly looks up to East High's "Primo Boy", Troy Bolton. He always tries to get closer to Troy but ends up being afraid, because he has romantic feelings for Troy.
As the events begin to unfold, we discover that Brett is just simply very depressed, emotional, insecure, confused, lost, and lonely inside. He keeps a very blank expression; there is a better word to describe him, other than "dead inside". Brett seems to act sort of perfect or stage how he walks very straight and acts around campus. Even though we can see Brett breaking and crying at a couple points, he keeps a specific type of exterior.
Role in Series
In the East High hallway, Brett Shimura is at his locker while Bobby Hatchery watches him. Bobby walks over to Brett and glares at him viciously. He smacks Brett’s books across the floor and laughed before spitting at his feet. Brett tries to stand himself back up but was punched in the stomach and fell back onto the ground. Brett did nothing; he just grabbed his side and hope that Bobby would just walk away. Again Brett felt another blow to his stomach, a kick this time. Bobby just snickered and snapped his fingers. At an instant one of the basketball players, walked towards Brett and opened up the side pocket of his backpack and took out all his money. The jock handed the money to Bobby, and walks back towards the rest of the group.
In the cafeteria, lunchtime had to be the worst for Brett. After he sat down at his table, where barely anyone sat at and if they did, they usually take their trays and move somewhere else. Brett looked around before actually sitting down and later sat his books down beside him. After finishing his brownie Brett drank the rest of his milk. Bobby and the basketball jocks showed up soon after the loud ruckus coming from their voices. Brett knew something bad was about to conjure up and he had no possible way of avoiding it. Bobby sat one the left side of Brett, glaring at him, while the other jocks sat on the right, poking at his left-over food. Brett’s head fell down and he stared at the face of his empty tray before him. His eyes burned with fear and sadness but he had no way of stopping the two of them once they've started. The jocks snickered and looked over at Bobby, pointing at the corndog. Bobby took the end of the corndog, practically shoving it in Brett’s face while kids all around them witnessed. Bobby laughed after Brett attempted to get away but the jocks held him back by the ends of his hair, holding tight and secure. Bobby smiled, before shoving the corndog in Brett’s face once again. The jocks pulling back hard on Brett’s hair. The entire cafeteria went into complete shock and silence. To get out of the jocks’ grasp and Bobby's taunting presence, Brett felt worthless and totally useless. Brett pleaded as the jocks pulled harder and Bobby teased more. Bobby shoved the cold corndog more into Brett’s face. Brett fought, trying to hold back the tears that were so close to running finally fell and caused much more issues. Bobby and the jocks began to laugh at Brett and as the bell rang for next period, they let him go and left with a few threats to finish the job.
Inside the school bathroom, there, sitting with his legs pulled up to his chest was the tear-stained, red faced Brett. His muffled crying and sniffling are heard. Someone walks over to the stall and lightly pushes it open without even knocking first. There stood Troy Bolton, East High’s “all-star god”. Troy's heart broke. Brett really was the most broken kid he had ever seen. Troy doesn’t even hesitate to this — he just kneels down until he was eye-level with Brett. A sobbing Brett pleas Troy to leave; he couldn't let Troy see him like this. He couldn't let the mega-popular jock see him trembling and frightened and desperate. A sympathetic Troy rebukes by saying, he’s not walking away. Brett wipes away the mustard from his mouth with his sleeve. Troy grabs a paper towel and sympathetically finishes the job. Troy scoots away involuntarily not expecting this type of a plea. Upon seeing the confusion on Troy's face, Brett adds that he wants to be left alone. Then, Brett looks at Troy directly in the eye and he says in a cracked voice that sometimes, he does want attention, just so people will notice him and then when they finally do, he wishes that he had just kept on drowning instead. The silence that followed was devastating. Troy places a light hand on Brett's shoulder. At first Brett is startled by this and he jumps slightly, but then, whether it was from the warmth of Troy's hand or just the weight of it all, he lets out a strangled sob. Before either of them knew what was happening Brett flings his arms around Troy. Troy holds him and pats his back softly, unsure of what to do. When Brett began to tremble even harder, Troy feels a sharp, unwelcome pain in his heart and as he had known all along. The whole time Brett kept his eyes on his shoes and the only time he ever lifted his head his eyes found Troy's immediately. His lips curved upwards into what most wouldn't of recognized as a small smile. Even Troy wouldn't have noticed it if he hadn't been looking for it and as quickly as it had come it was gone and Brett was staring at the tiled patterns of the bathroom floor once more. Troy had been comforting, Brett had been thankful and words would just complicate things.
In the school hallway, Brett walks past Troy without a second glance and Troy reluctantly heads off to his first period history class. He sees Brett's locker. The janitor had evidently tried to clean off the words, “ANOREXIC FAGGOT” but the permanent marker had held strong. It was dulled slightly but still as plain and cruel as ever. Brett enters Miss Darbus’s Homeroom, having two textbooks, a binder and an overwhelming amount of papers piled into his strained arms. A foot comes out from the side of one of the desks and Brett doesn’t even see it until he is falling to the ground. Luckily, Brett catches himself before he could fall all the way but in the effort to catch himself the papers fall to the floor. Troy steals one last look in Brett's direction and he notices that Brett's head was down and it stayed that way for the remainder of the class period.
A couple days had passed since Brett's last talk with Troy when Mrs. Shimura scolded Brett for his deviant behavior as it was his doing that drove away from the one decent chance she had at happiness with her life. As a hurt Brett walked away, Mrs. Shimura grabbed Brett by his arm and said he knows nothing about love as he himself had never experienced it, except to rip it apart because he was a "starving, emotional anorexic."
That morning, Troy was persistent in getting to the cause of what or who was hurting Brett. So he approached Brett yet again at the front of East High, despite their previous encounter ending on a good-note. Brett initially thought he was being manipulated, but Troy assured him that this wasn't the case at all. Troy originally came with Gabriella but she had a project to finish at the last moment, forcing Troy to come to school by himself. Brett is visibly troubled and Troy can see that, looking past his "happy" facade. So Troy asked if he was alright. Brett replied that he was at school alone while also trying to stay away from his parents. So to answer Troy's question, he wasn't alright. Hoping to lift Brett's mood, Troy suggested that he could go see him during basketball practice, considering that neither had anyone at the moment. Brett puts on an amused smile.
In the gymnasium, there, sitting on the bleachers was Brett, fascinated by watching Troy warm-up for basketball practice. Troy sees Brett and smiles warmly. Brett smiles back, but it was a flirtatious one, to which Troy didn't seem to notice. After practice was over, Troy was alone. Using this opportunity to talk to Troy, Brett strolled towards him slowly, saying that this was Troy's real stage. Troy laughs, agreeing. Brett stopped next to Troy; Troy handed Brett the basketball. Brett's body turned to the basketball hoop and the ball left his hands, missing the net. Impressed, looking proud and shocked, Troy jokes about Brett trying out for basketball, but a slow-witted Brett is confused. Grinning, Troy exclaimed that he was kidding. Suddenly, Brett gets it and laughs nervously, and says aloud that he's so stupid. Troy insists that Brett wasn't at all stupid. This caused Brett to grin. After a moment of silence, Brett asks Troy if he could come to dinner at his house. Without hesitating, Troy agrees. That was the moment, Troy was persistent in getting to the cause of what was hurting Brett.
At home, Mrs. Shimura looked on angrily as Brett told her about Troy coming over for dinner. Furious with Brett over his behavior, Mrs. Shimura explained to him that, as punishment, he'd no longer be hanging out with Troy afterwards, and if not for the fact that Troy didn't want to be actual friends with Brett. That evening, the Shimura family ate dinner together and were joined by Troy at Brett's invitation. The next morning, Mrs. Shimura looked on angrily as Brett hijacked the house to speak to Troy. Furious with Brett over his deviant behavior, Mrs. Shimura explained to him that, as punishment, he'd no longer be attending East High, and if not for the fact that no one wanted Brett, he'd be shipped off to a boarding school somewhere.
In the gymnasium, with his legs pulled up to his chest was the tear-stained, red faced Brett. Troy sees Brett sobbing. Troy sits down right next to Brett, trying to comfort him. Brett tells Troy that he used to be such a carefree kid, growing up, and then at a certain point he stopped being that happy kid because he was hiding a secret, which was a sore subject for Brett. Brett proceeds to cry as he explains to Troy how the Wildcats viewed him, as a “repulsive loner.” But Brett insists that this wasn't true. He loved someone who loved him, but his parents destroyed it. Brett breathes the word “he” before composing himself and saying that it was a boy who he was best friends with. The boy used to sleepover at Brett's house every weekend until one night, Brett’s parents caught them in bed together and called Brett "deviant." Troy is saddened by Brett's story. Because he’s a constant voice of reason and generally amazing, Troy tells Brett that he is neither loveless nor deviant, and that he is sensational and deserved to be loved. It had hurt to say it out loud because it was like reliving it all over again but this time Brett wasn't alone. Troy leans over and places a hand upon Brett's. Troy says firmly, to never believe that he’s disappointing, or that he’s anything less than what he is. Brett slowly nods his head, his chocolate brown eyes glistening slightly. They exchange glances — it's a poignant moment that most definitely hints at a future relationship. Then Troy looks down at their hands. He just stares at them with curiosity, as if he hadn't realized what he had done. Then his eyes widens and he pulls away quickly, clearing his throat.
The next day, Brett exited the school for some fresh air, he was of course followed by Troy. Troy was the “golden boy”, Brett said, people hated him, and while that was “okay” at school, it was too much to bear from his own family. However, Troy thought he was awesome, which led Brett to express how he felt that Troy was the only decent person in his life.
The next day at school, with it now being a matter of his safety, Troy tells Brett that he has to protect him from being bullied and taunted. However, Brett refuses to succumb to thespian bullying and allow himself to be ousted from the school. Unfortunately for Brett, that won't happen, not if his mother has anything to say about it. Mrs. Shimura informs Brett that students require parental approval to participate in extracurricular activities, as she reminded Principal Matsui when she told him that Brett didn't have her permission to do the extracurricular activities. When Troy tries to defend Brett, Brett shuts him down. He then confronts his mother, who she surmises feasts on broken dreams. Mrs. Shimura concludes that his desire by acting as a “Good Boy” around others, is nothing more than a revenge fantasy to gain love and affection for himself, for which Brett so desperately craves, since he isn’t loved by anybody else. A heartless Mrs. Shimura rebukes by saying that that love and care from her and everyone else will never ever happen, and calls Brett a “frumpy pig.” In conclusion, she adds one last spiteful remark, saying Brett should enjoy the company of his “friend” before walking away. This leaves tears in Brett’s eyes. He wipes the tears away from his face with his sleeve, and storms off. Immediately, Troy runs after him.
- Considered to be a character who's deeply struggling with figuring out who he is.
- Frankly, the vulnerability from Brett is because Troy Bolton took a friendly liking to him, which is more interesting and dynamic than Brett’s sexuality, as revealed in The Start of Something New.
- That gave Brett the energy and confidence to be his most authentic self. In Brett's case, it gave him the courage to come out to Troy.
- Troy is the most reliable friend Brett has. And no matter how cold-hearted and ruthless other kids may be at times, Troy is always there to warm Brett right back up with his kindness, maturity, and loyalty.