Sara Ramírez Pitched for Their 'Grey's Anatomy' Character Dr. Callie Torres to Be Bisexual

Sara Ramírez played Dr. Callie Torres in 239 episodes of the ABC medical drama, making Callie the longest-running LGBTQ character in TV history

Sara Ramirez
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty

Sara Ramírez is reflecting on their game-changing character on Grey's Anatomy.

On Wednesday, Ramírez, 46, opened up about their experience playing Dr. Callie Torres, a bisexual woman and orthopedic surgeon, in 239 episodes of the ABC medical drama — making Callie the longest-running LGBTQ character in TV history.

In a recent interview with Variety, Ramírez, who came out as non-binary in 2020 and uses the pronouns they/them, recalled the moment they approached creator Shonda Rhimes with the fresh idea of introducing Callie as bisexual.

"I wanted to pursue a storyline where Callie would discover that she was attracted to women, as well as men," Ramírez told the publication.

Rhimes was quick to jump on board with the idea. "She knew I was bi," Ramírez recalled.

And so, Callie came out as bisexual on the series in 2009. At the time, Ramírez says they knew they were bisexual themselves, but weren't ready to come out publicly.

"I was really afraid it would hurt my career if I came out as bisexual," Ramírez told PEOPLE in December. "I was very aware of the bi[sexual] antagonism that exists. But I'm really proud of what we put out in the world. It was definitely disrupting a narrative."

Danny Feld/ABC

After a brief marriage to Dr. George O'Malley, Callie went on to marry Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) on the show. The relationship proved to be extremely impactful.

During an interview with Out Magazine last year, Ramírez said the role not only had an impact on the LBGTQ community as a whole, but also their own self-understanding.

"Prior to Callie Torres, I'd never seen myself represented on television," Ramírez told the outlet. "There was so much I didn't know that I didn't know. So, I've caught up with myself in a lot of ways."

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Speaking with Variety, showrunner Krista Vernoff expressed similar sentiments about Callie.

"I don't think it can be overstated what the social impact of Callie's bisexuality was on the culture at large," Vernoff said. "Bisexuality was almost invisible on TV at that point. I personally have two kids who have come out as bisexual, and I don't think it's disconnected from Callie and Sara publicly coming out."


Though Ramírez exited Grey's Anatomy in 2016, and last appeared in the season 12 finale, they said they're open to a Grey's return in the future.

"It taught me so much, portraying a character that a lot of folks had not seen on TV including myself," Ramírez told PEOPLE in December. "I will always have a soft tender place in my heart for that work family and that role. It was the role of a lifetime."

"I wouldn't be who I am today without the experience I had on Grey's Anatomy and my heart is completely open to going back and checking in with Dr. Callie Torres," Ramírez added. "But that would only happen if the writers' room and the story really organically led them to need a character like Callie to come back. They all know that I support them from afar and that I'm rooting for them."

Grey's Anatomy is not the first time Ramírez has broken boundaries with their character. They also starred as Che Diaz, an outspoken, non-binary podcast host and stand-up comic on the Sex and the City revival series, And Just Like That..., who ends up being (spoiler alert!) Miranda Hobbes' love interest.

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