In a new video, part of Entertainment Weekly and People’s “Coming Out Stories” series, actress and resident fave Sara Ramirez talks about coming out publicly and why she decided to do so.
Ramirez, who made her name playing Dr. Callie Torres onGrey’s Anatomy and currently stars as policy advisor Kat Sandoval on CBS’ Madam Secretary, is queer and proudly bisexual.In the video, she says that she held back on sharing this part of herself with the world, for fear of damaging her burgeoning television career.
“Coming out publicly was something I was afraid of because I was concerned that it would affect my career in a negative way,”she says. “I was afraid of the discrimination I might face not just outside of Hollywood but within.”
The actress says that she began to feel a kind of pressure to come out mount within her every time she read about the violence and harassment that many LGBTQ people remain vulnerable to, like the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016. She concluded that, given her platform as a network TV star, coming out publicly could potentially have a positive impact.
“Oftentimes, our LGBTQ youth are pressured to deny their own complex narratives to simplify them to survive, to make other people feel comfortable, to have access to services,” Ramirez says. “So by sharing all of the intersections that my life has touched on, including being a bi+ immigrant in this country, I hoped that it might empower youth to own those complex narratives for themselves.”
Despite her concerns, Ramirez’s career has only continued to flourish. More importantly, though, she feels freer than ever.
“Coming out publicly has given me a sense of relief,” she says. “It’s been a form of liberation to own all of my identities, for me to no longer feel the need to hold back or hide any parts of myself when I walk through any threshold in life.”