When the internet started spreading rumors that Rosa Diaz was going to come out on Brooklyn 99, I shrugged it off as wishful thinking. I mean, it’s only been the main desire of my heart since I watched the pilot episode in 2013, and that desire only intensified when Stephanie Beatriz casually came out as bisexual on Twitter last year, but come on, it’s a network TV show that already has two Latina characters and a black gay character; no way was Fox going to let the writers make it more diverse. Except I was totally wrong and they totally did! Rosa Diaz absolutely came out as bisexual on last night’s episode, “99,” just said right out loud, “I’m dating a woman. I’m bi.” And that was that.
No, really, it’s Rosa Diaz. That was that. She shut Charles down before he could get the words, “That’s great!” out of his mouth. She revisited it with him at the end of the episode. “I didn’t tell anyone I’m bi because I didn’t think it was anyone’s business,” she told him over a beer at Shaw’s. “And also, I didn’t want anything to change. But it felt really good to finally tell somebody on the squad. And now we go back to never talking about my love life again.”
I was hyped watching “99,” but I got even more excited after the episode when both Entertainment Weekly and Variety published interviews with Stephanie Beatriz. I’ve been doing this job for ten years and the most consistently frustrating thing is trying to get TV writers to listen and believe me when I explain why something is important, why something is harmful, and what makes gay storylines resonate. It feels like yelling at a wall most of the time. But then there’s Stephanie Beatriz, an openly bisexual woman in the room where TV happens. When she pitched the idea to them about Rosa being bi, they told her they’d actually been planning to pitch that to her anyway. And then they sat down with her and talked about what it’s like to be a bisexual Latina in this world.
Usually in interviews like these, it’s just a few sound bites and equivocating about how love is love and the show is still for everyone, but both EW and Variety published Beatriz in full: thoughtful, eloquent answers about why actually saying the word “bisexual” is important, especially on network TV; about the never-ending necessity of queer people seeing themselves reflected on-screen; about the rare joy of being able to relax into a queer storyline because you know the queer character isn’t going to die; about how language in the community continues to evolve as we understand more about the spectrum of gender and sexuality. These are conversations we’re having every day and it’s flabbergasting in the best way to see a queer woman talking about them in the most mainstream entertainment magazines. (You should especially read the EW interview.)
Thank you all for loving this character so much. Thank you @djgoor for being an incredible boss. Thank you for 99 episodes with an incredible cast and crew. IM SO HAPPY AND GRATEFUL #RepresentationMatters https://t.co/uFrhTqersI
— Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz) December 6, 2017
— Brooklyn Nine-Nine (@Brooklyn99FOX) December 6, 2017
According to Beatriz, Rosa will, in fact, be talking about her love life again. She’s coming out to the whole squad in next week’s 100th episode and later on she’ll be coming out to her parents.