How Playing Callie On Grey’s Anatomy Helped Sara Ramirez Find Themself

"I've caught up with myself in a lot of ways."

Singer and actor Sara Ramirez arrives for the opening ceremony of WorldPride 2019 at Barclays Center...

From dancing in her underwear to that iconic musical episode, Callie Torres’ tenure on Grey’s Anatomy made her one of the show’s most beloved characters — one fans still desperately hope will return someday. Over the course of 11 seasons, viewers watched as the hilarious, kindhearted ortho goddess embraced her identity as a bisexual woman and, according to Out, became (and remains) the longest-running LGBTQ+ character in TV history. In an Out100 cover interview published Nov. 2, Sara Ramirez revealed that playing Callie was personally impactful for them, too — just like watching Callie could be for fans.

“Prior to Callie Torres, I’d never seen myself represented on television,” Ramirez told the magazine of how the character helped them grow and find themselves. Like Callie, Ramirez went through their own journey off-screen, ultimately coming out as bisexual in 2016 and as nonbinary last year. Back then, Ramirez explained, “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.”

This isn’t the first time Ramirez has praised Callie, who left Grey Sloan in Season 12 and is currently co-parenting (and maybe more?) with Arizona back in New York. In February, Ramirez responded to Refinery29’s essay “Callie Torres Deserved Better From Grey’s Anatomy,” which discussed the early days of Callie’s character, which were often fraught with “body-shaming and oversexualizing digs, along with sidelining narratives.”

In addition to thanking writer Ariana Romero for the post, Ramirez shared their thoughts on Callie. “I truly loved playing the undeniably human, smart, sensitive & badass Dr. Callie Torres ... She complicated the narrative, and taught me so very much,” they said.

If you’ve been missing Callie on Grey’s Anatomy, know that the door is always open for the character’s return. In fact, upon Ramirez’s departure, they agreed with Shonda Rhimes “to keep the conversations going,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly in 2016. But you won’t need to wait for a Calzona episode to see Ramirez in action. Their next role will be Che Diaz on And Just Like That..., described by HBO Max as a “non-binary, queer, stand-up comedian that hosts a podcast on which Carrie Bradshaw is regularly featured.”

Not too far off from Callie, “Che is a big presence with a big heart” and “outrageous sense of humor.” Pretty much the perfect part for Ramirez.