Autostraddle Feelings Atrium: Sara Ramirez in This Suit and Suspenders With a Pocket Chain Around Your Heart

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 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?

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen Phillips is Autostraddle's former editor in chief. She began at Autostraddle in 2017 as a freelance team writer and worked her way up through the company, eventually becoming the EIC from 2021-2024. A Black Puerto Rican feminist writer with a PhD in American Studies from New York University, Carmen specializes in writing about Blackness, race, queerness, politics, culture, and the many ways we find community and connection with each other.  During her time at Autostraddle, Carmen focused on pop culture, TV and film reviews, criticism, interviews, and news analysis. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. And there were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. To reach out, you can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram, or her website.

Carmen has written 716 articles for us.


  1. The pocket chain has put « ring of keys » in my head and now the song doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

  2. Every time this fucked up voice in my head tells me that maybe I’m not queer and making it up I will look back to that picture and my heart will swell with love and desire and it will tell that tiny voice to shut up.

  3. Every time I look at this picture — and I’m on about 200 views right now — I find something new to flip out about.

  4. I’m going to need a guide on how to effectively stream roughly 100 episodes of Madam Secretary in anticipation of this Very Important Event.

    • That is just what I was thinking — I’m on approximately 7 deadlines in November, but I’m going to have to work something out around this show now. :)

    • A) I don’t know how to thank you for sharing this & B) My wife & I would love to borrow that guide on stream bingeing the earlier eps!


    I was really into the show at the beginning – fantastic cast, fantastic concept, perfectly filling the hole in my heart left by the absence of The West Wing that Veep, House of Cards and Scandal have not managed to fill – and yet, about 5 or 6 episodes in, I couldn’t continue. I got bored – FAST. It was overly cheesy and melodramatic and the writing was just not that good and nobody was queer.


    • There’s a queer. There’s a very good queer storyline that is very new but should hopefully continue.

      And of course, now there’s a Sara.

    • Allison!!! I knew I could count on you to also be excited about this development!!!!!!

      (I also didn’t know that Madam Secretary already had a bi character. So that makes all of this even more exciting!)

  6. I am dead. Killed by Sara Ramirez in this Suit and Suspenders With a Pocket Chain in the Library

  7. What’s really good about this, which some of you may not know, is that Madam Secretary is killin’ it with a bi storyline for the character of Blake. Methinks Sara got wind of this and chose her next project very wisely.

    Regardless, I am dying with you all and I cannot wait to see what she brings to this awesome show.

  8. I started scream crying when I saw this. So glad I’m not alone in still being wrecked by Sara 10 years later.

  9. So…what you are telling me is that Callie Torres definitely won’t be back on Grey’s any time soon. I’ve only seen a few eps of Madam Secretary but all the previous seasons are on Netflix so I might catch up.

  10. I’m sorry, but IS THAT HAIRCUT GOING TO BE ON TV? That haircut. Haircut. The way her hair is cut. On tv.

    It’s a lot guys, is all I’m saying.

  11. HOOOO yes. *fans self*
    I’m so happy.
    While Kate Walsh flipped the OHYESIAMGAY switch in my brain as Addison (which, side note, is my current partner’s name lol), Sara Ramirez/Callie kept it on forever. Something about seeing a fellow Latina woman be out and proud thrilled me.

    And now she’s looking fantastic in a suit and tie?
    Gah. Goals. I’ve been considering making my wardrobe more masculine of center and now I think I have to.

  12. Like, seriously, how many women are having a “you are glasses” moment right now?

    Erica: This is like needing glasses.

    Callie: [laughs] I blinded you?

    Erica: No. When I was a kid, I would get these headaches. And I went to the doctor and they said that I needed glasses. I didn’t understand that. It didn’t make sense to me because I could see fine. And then, I get the glasses and I put them on. And I’m in the car on the way home, and suddenly, I yell. Because the big green blobs that I’ve been staring at my whole life? They weren’t big green blobs – they were leaves… on trees. I could see the leaves. And I didn’t even know that I was missing the leaves. I didn’t even know leaves existed. And then… leaves! You are glasses. I am so gay. I am so, so, so gay. I am extremely gay!

  13. First Kate McKinnon in a Canadian tuxedo and now this… I’ll just be in my room for a while if you need me. Knock first ?

  14. I suggest everyone take a selfie laughing hysterically/crying hysterically/thanking the Goddess for her generosity and grace (also hysterically)/whatever it is that you’re all doing in this moment in time, and send it to Laneia. It doesn’t get more Queer Celebration than this.

  15. I have no idea what this show is but I would like to dress up as Kat Sandoval for Halloween and maybe forever

  16. I say this with as much love as possible.

    Why would a character wearing that dapper a suit ruin it with a late 90s wallet chain?

    Because that is not a watch chain that is a wallet chain.

  17. Nadine Tolliver aka The great Bebe Neuwirth has just left so I guess it’s just right to add one more greatness in the form of The Sara Ramirez! YEHESSS!! I am so happy I decided to binge watch it on Netflix and was able to catch up for its 4th season! THIS WILL BE FUN!!! (I am so excited for her to interact with Bess and my favourite human Blake!)

  18. So many mixed feelings. Like Yay for my Sara loving heart but I don’t watch Madam Secretary. And Boo for my broken Calzona heart, there was always a glimmer of hope still there. And if/when Grey’s finally ends CBS probably won’t release her to even go back.

  19. has anyone mentioned how her hand looks strong and powerful like… gripping the desk?! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  20. Just woke up to come back to this thread.

    I think I haven’t felt this gay since I held a woman’s boobs in bed for the first time!!!

      • That hair is way more about whatever glue they are using to get the helmet shape at the front, but yes good guide for what level of fade you want on the sides.

          • wut? no like having short hair and undercuts and fades is way about the pomades and gels you are using. I had to do A LOT of research to get the bozo wig on the top of my head to look like Mal from Lumberjanes post-new queer haircut last April. Beeswax paste is a goddamn miracle.

          • Gotcha. I was just teasing but for REAL, tell me all your secrets, my hair lays flat no matter what I do ?

          • You guys, check out “Schmiere”, it’s a German pomade brand (you can find it on Amazon) and my hair has never been the same since I discovered it. They even have a water based one that’s far easier to wash out than the regular one. Plus, all their products smell so good. I love their cherry and strawberry pomade.

          • So real talk if you can get past all the dude-bro language in here this is actually a very good guide to what the different products are for dealing with shorter hairstyles. queer girl you and I have the opposite problem re: hair if yours is laying flat. Mine’s wavy and thick so it gets flooooofy unless contained. Maybe you need a volumizing texture if you want it up more?

  21. Her instagram post made my entire morning yesterday and reading these comments has given me the joy to accomplish ANYTHING today.

    going to go teach some kids some theory and feel great about at least one tiny corner of the world.

    • Yay!

      I’m sending you strong, positive, “go out and be a shining light in the world!” vibes! Go get ’em!!

  22. *Involuntary gasp* Oh Jesus.

    *Zooms in to examine subtle pinstripe of pants, embroidery on tie, upside-down triangle diamond earring, all that cheekbone action*

    *Loses my shit all over again*

  23. Sara Ramirez has been my wife in my world since she was The Lady of The Lake in Monty Python on broadway. My little TN closeted queer heart was like, “Yes, please.”

    That led to downloading her singing Colors of The Wind from Pocahontas, to finding the MTV Commercial she did where she made OUT WITH ANOTHER GIRL AND MY QUEER HEART GREW FOUR SIZES. But then when her character on Grey’s came out as a QPOC who had a religious family, I was still closeted and I cried in my closet.

    Last year, my proudly out self, I had people tagging me in photos, videos, and transcripts of her coming out and I cried again. And I was JUST telling my friend that I’m so happy to see her being out and being queer because JFC SHE JUST KEEPS GETTING HOTTER AND THE WORDS TOO GAY TO FUNCTION KEEP APPLYING TO MY LIFE BECAUSE MY WORLD STOPPED AND I MADE THIS PICTURE MY BACKGROUND ON EVERYTHING POSSIBLE.

    All this to say, thanks, pls love me if you ever see this Sara like Tostada because me and your friend Wilson Cruz bonded over you being great and if I meet him again, I’m going to call it fate that we’re totes meant to be.

    *goes back to look at my wife’s picture*

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