When Sara Ramirez walked the halls of Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital back in 2008, her shoulders proudly carried the weight of representing the archetype of Latino bisexuality on the small screen.
Her character, Dr. Callie Torres, was gradually becoming a cornerstone of the plot of Grey’s Anatomy, being one of the most complex characters on the ABC board, and who could be one of the most controversial issues on the table within the LGBTQ+ community.
Torres came out of the closet in the series as a bisexual in 2009, “clocking in more than 240 episodes and becoming the longest-running queer character in television history,” according to Autostraddle.
Ramirez followed in her footsteps seven years later, after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in 2016. As explained by NBC News, Ramirez said the shooting, which was one of the deadliest attacks on LGBTQ people and Latinos in modern U.S. history, inspired their decision to come out.
“I was concerned it would affect my career in a negative way. I was afraid of the discrimination I might face not just outside of Hollywood, but within,” Ramirez said in a 2018 interview for “Coming Out Stories,” a video series produced by People and Entertainment Weekly.
With their closest friends and family’s support, Ramirez coincided with their character in a reflective search for an identity that would break down harmful stereotypes in the Hispanic community.
Two years later, Ramirez has decided to step forward and come out again as a “non-binary” through a shared post on Instagram last Thursday.
With a proud photo, the actress said, “In me is the capacity to be […] everything from a girlish boy to a boyish girl,” and closed the commentary with the hashtag #nonbinary in the caption.
Since then, their social networks and their Wikipedia page have been updated with their chosen pronouns, she/her, and they/them.
Born in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Sara Elena Ramirez have positioned themselves as one of the most important Hispanic artists in the Hollywood scene. Their activism for the rights of immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community has distinguished them from so many colleagues who have stayed away from controversial issues.
Their announcement last Thursday only adds to their support from a growing demographic that has decided to break with the binary rigidity established by heteronormative optics and claims the right to democratized spaces for all.