In an interview with Variety, Ramírez who uses they/them pronouns and came out as non binary in 2020 shared their experience portraying Callie, a woman and orthopedic surgeon. They mentioned that Callie holds the record for being the running character in TV history with her presence in 239 episodes of the ABC medical drama.
Ramírez fondly recalled how they approached creator Shonda Rhimes with the idea of introducing Callie as bisexual. They expressed their desire to explore a storyline where Callie discovers her attraction to both men and women.
Rhimes was immediately supportive of the idea knowing that Ramírez identifies as bi themselves. This led to Callies coming out as bisexual on the series back in 2009. At that time Ramírez acknowledged their bisexuality. Didn't feel ready to publicly come out.
Journey As Dr Callie
Opening up about this journey Ramírez shared that they had concerns about how coming out as bisexual could impact their career due to existing biases against bisexuality. However looking back on it now they are incredibly proud of the impact and representation they were able to contribute through their portrayal of Callie.
"It definitely caused a disturbance in the storyline."
Following a marriage to Dr. George O'Malley, Callie eventually tied the knot with Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw) on the show. Their relationship had an impact.
In an interview with Out Magazine in 2022 Ramírez expressed how the role not only influenced the LGBTQ community as a whole but also contributed to their own self discovery and understanding.
"Before Callie Torres I had never witnessed someone, like myself being represented on TV " Ramírez shared with the publication. "There were things I didn't even realize I didn't know. So in a way I have caught up with myself."
During an interview with Variety showrunner Krista Vernoff echoed feelings about Callie.
"I cannot emphasize enough the impact that Callies bisexuality had on our culture as a whole, " Vernoff remarked. "Bisexuality was hardly visible on television at that time. Personally both of my kids have come out as bisexual. I believe it is connected to the public coming out of Callie and Sara."
Even though Ramírez departed from Grey's Anatomy in 2016 and made their appearance in the season 12 finale they expressed openness to returning to Greys in the future.
"Portraying a character that many people had never seen on TV before taught me much '' Ramírez shared with PEOPLE. "I will always hold a place in my heart for that work, family and role. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity." "I owe a lot to my time, on Grey's Anatomy it truly shaped me into the person I'm today. I would definitely consider returning to the show and reconnecting with Dr. Callie Torres' ' expressed Ramírez. "However for that to happen it would require the writers room to genuinely and naturally create a storyline that necessitates Callies return. Rest assured I am fully supportive of them, from a distance. Will be cheering them on."