Sara Ramirez has officially played two Latinx bisexual characters on television.
Kat Sandoval, Ramirez’s character on Madam Secretary, came out as bisexual in this week’s episode. In an episode focused on LGBTQ refugees, Sandoval talks with her co-worker, Jay Whitman, who says he assumed her interest in the case was “personal.”
“It is. I’m bisexual,” she says. “Uh, you can also say pansexual, or fluid or non-monosexual. But, uh, yeah, I’m queer.
Ramirez told TVLine she gave notes to the writers after the first table read, and they were receptive.
“They took all of my notes, basically, and the scenein terms of language, certainly in how Kat discloses her various identitiesshifted greatly,” she said. “I was really appreciative, because this is personal for me, you know? This secret that who I am, and all my various identities.”
She continued, “It was important for me to tell stories that are reflective of the lived experience and the communities that I’m a part of. And Kat’s experience as a bisexual plus Latinx woman and parent is a story that typically isn’t told. Also, when Jay Whitman assumes Kat’s sexuality, based on her gender expression, and again on the gender of her partner, Kat did what many bisexual plus people have to do, and that is to come out and correct those assumptions.”
Ramirez herself is an out bisexual woman. She told EW last November that she hopes her Madam Secretary character “continues normalizing, strengthening, and celebrating these types of inclusive outcomes in the world.”
Given this week’s episode, I think it’s fair to say “mission accomplished”as an outspoken advocate for bisexual visibility and LGBTQ rights on-screen and off, Sara Ramirez continuously uses her voice to push the narrative forward in queer storytelling on network TV.
The former Grey’s Anatomy star spoke about these stories and the narratives she’d like to see more of, including discussions of gender identity.
“It was really important in this scene, too, for me, that we see that Kat is in a non-traditional family with her partner,” Ramirez told TVLine. “She talks a little bit in previous episodes around not having to give into the pressure of living some traditional life, and that gave me the thought that we could push that even further with her and her life, to learn that that’s maybe where that stance comes from.”
The actress continued, “It was important for me that she didn’t gender her child with a pronoun in that scene. We just hear the name Desi. These are stories that aren’t really being told in this way, and complex narratives make for better, more authentic storytelling.”
Ramirez has carved out a space for herself to bring queer Latinx characters to life, and we hope to see way more of her and Kat Sandoval on Madam Secretary.