Sara Ramirez broke barriers when she played the bisexual doctor Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy for 10 years. In a recent interview with People, she openly addressed her coming out, and her personal truth as a queer and bisexual woman.
“I have been coming out to my friends and family since I was 18 years old. When my career shifted from theater to television, I felt ready to portray a bisexual person’s journey that I had never seen on television before,” she said. Ramirez admitted she didn’t know if she was ready to come out publicly.
“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,” she explained in People‘s “Coming Out Stories.”
After witnessing incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence around the world, Ramirez felt “an organic, incremental urgency to use [her] platform to empower those who are a part of these communities that [she’s] a part of,” and decided to come out at the 2016 True Colors Fund’s 40 to None Summit.
Before the former Grey’s Anatomy actress made her speech, she decided to open up about her sexuality with friends during a movie night. However, their response, was not as dramatic as she anticipated. “Everyone was very supportive, very happy for me,” she recalled. “The reaction went something like, ‘Huh? Cool. Can we get back to the movie now?’”
Now, Ramirez says she feels very “lucky and privileged” to have the support of her friends, family and her chosen family “who will never leave her side.” She had a few words, however, for what she’d tell her younger, less-confident self. “You’re good enough just the way you are,” she said. “Your voice matters, your feelings matter and you belong here. I love you.”
The actress currently stars on CBS’s Madam Secretary and is married to her husband of six years, businessman Ryan DeBolt.