Today, at approximately 11:30am, I was warming up my mid-morning muffin and planning out my afternoon work schedule. I started scrolling through Twitter and scratched an itch on my back. Just a normal day doing normal things.
And then, at the ripe old age of 31, I went into cardiac arrest because this happened:
— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) October 24, 2017
Sara Ramirez has joined the cast of Madam Secretary as a series regular. She’ll be playing Kat Sandoval, who CBS has officially described as a “brilliant political strategist, legendary in D.C. for her talent” and who I will unofficially describe as “chief strategist #1 in charge of breaking my heart wide open”.
In the few hours since this announcement, we here on the Autostraddle Staff have already had A LOT of feelings. We’ve been in turn whispering and feverishly shouting to one another all about it. About our love for Sara Ramirez! About that pocket chain! Those suspenders! She’s so dapper! Her confident body language and off camera stare! We know so little at the moment, and yet if a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, we already know so much.
Sara Ramirez, of course, is known to most of us as the beloved bisexual badass Callie Torres of Grey’s Anatomy . She left the show in 2016, after clocking in more than 240 episodes and becoming the longest running queer character in television history.
Since leaving Grey’s, Ramirez came out as bisexual in a speech that I’ve personally memorized, saying that she was committed to embracing all of her intersections as an multiracial, immigrant, queer woman of color. The last few years have seen Ramirez working closely with Latinx, immigrant, and LGBT communities. She’s on the board of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, which works to end homelessness among queer and trans youth. She’s also been popping up in queer community events all over the place- from last year’s ClexaCon femslash fandom conference to this fall’s DapperQ fashion show.
I first handed my heart to Sara Ramirez a decade ago. When Callie Torres entered my life, I was still telling myself that I was straight. The last ten years have been a journey; for myself, for the character, and for the actress who played her. I could have never guessed in 2006, sitting cross legged on my bedroom floor, stuffing my face with popcorn, that one day I would be an out queer woman following her dream of becoming a writer. I couldn’t have known that the character on my TV screen who already captured my attention would soon become the mirror through which I saw myself and gained the courage to come out. I could have never imagined that the actress who played her would also come out as bisexual, and dedicate the last few years to giving back so willingly. At every turn, Sara Ramirez has proven to be loving to her community, true to herself, and a beacon as an actress and an activist.
Seeing her today, in this photo, while I have this job: This is more than my wildest dreams.
Normally these type of announcements get folded into our weekly Pop Culture Fix, but some things are just too urgent to wait. I don’t remember the last time I saw a masculine of center character on network television, let alone as a series regular. Let alone played by a woman of color. I keep doing this nervous thing where my fingers twitch above my keyboard. I am so excited, and I’m not sure how to process all of this new information.
Ramirez’s first episode as Kat Sandoval will be Sunday, November 19th. I feel pretty confident saying that we’ll be covering it for you here at Autostraddle.
Help me friends! How are you all feeling right now?