Sara Ramírez Reflects on Groundbreaking Grey's Anatomy Role: 'I'd Never Seen Myself Represented'
Ramírez, 46, played Dr. Callie Torres, a bisexual woman, for 11 seasons. They appeared in 239 episodes of the long-running medical drama, making Callie the longest running LGBTQ character in TV history, according to Out Magazine.
During a recent interview with the publication, Ramírez said that 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," they told Out. "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."
Ramírez exited Grey's Anatomy in 2016, last appearing in the season 12 finale.
While the Shonda Rhimes series marked the first time Ramírez made history on screen, it wouldn't be their last. They have since become a prominent advocate for LGBTQ rights and later portrayed the bisexual, non-binary role of Kat Sandoval in the CBS drama Madam Secretary.
Now, they are set to appear in the Sex and the City revival, And Just Like That, as Che Diaz — a non-binary, queer stand-up comedian and podcast host. The role will mark the first non-binary character in the SATC canon.
Ramírez told Out that they hope to continue taking roles that expand representation on screen, making sure that audiences of all ages can see themselves reflected in the characters they play.
"If we can spark fresh, new conversations in spaces that normally would not be engaging in those conversations, I think that visibility can change how we view ourselves and the world," they said.
HBO Max announced that Ramírez was joining And Just Like That in May.
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"Che is a big presence with a big heart whose outrageous sense of humor and progressive, human overview of gender roles has made them and their podcast very popular," the character description reads.
"Everyone at 'And Just Like That…' is beyond thrilled that a dynamically talented actor such as Sara Ramírez has joined the 'Sex and the City' family," executive producer Michael Patrick King said in a release. "Sara is a one-of-a-kind talent, equally at home with comedy and drama – and we feel excited and inspired to create this new character for the show."