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Thank You, Callie: A Bisexual Viewer Says Goodbye 

Thank You, Callie: A Bisexual Former Grey's Anatomy Viewer Says Goodbye

Thank You, Callie: A Bisexual Former Grey's Anatomy Viewer Says Goodbye

Grey's Anatomy's bisexual ortho doc spoke to a generation of bisexual viewers in a way that no character had done before her. 

McKennaMagazine

I don’t even watch Grey’s Anatomy anymore. Once Sandra Oh left, it didn’t feel the same. I’ve kept up with it, though, hearing the high points here and there.

Back in the day, however, Grey’s was my favorite. The cast was always incredible and wonderfully diverse, the writing was excellent, and I loved the characters. I felt like I knew them. I felt like I was one of them.

As with any show, I connected to certain characters more than others. There was one in particular though that I connected to the most, and in a way that would change my life.

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It seems stupid to say, I know. It’s just a TV show, and they’re just fictional characters, right?

Fictional, yes. Impactless, no.

We take cultural cues from TV, whether consciously or otherwise. We learn from TV in the same way. It’s strange, but we connect to the unreal in very real ways.

It is in this very real way that I came to love Dr. Callie Torres.

I’d always liked Callie. She was brilliant, beautiful, quick-witted, outgoing, and charming as hell. She was easily one of my favorites from her introduction. Total role-model material... 

I was 15, and the show was in its fourth season when the writers decided to do something that was very much needed -- they made this badass, amazing surgeon bisexual.

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The move, the decision to make one of the most well-liked characters on the show bisexual impacted me monumentally.

See, before Callie, I’d only ever seen relatively negative portrayals of bisexuality. They were stereotypical, occasionally even borderline offensive, depicting bisexuals as thoughtlessly sex-crazed, confused, or something to be used exclusively as bait for the male gaze. I’d never been able to see myself as bisexual because I’d never actually seen a bisexual worth emulating at all.

But here she was. Here was a bisexual who was proud of her bisexuality, and who recognized it as an important and valid aspect of her identity. Seeing her be so open and fearless about her sexual identity helped me figure out that part of myself and inspired me to take ownership of my own bisexuality.

With the addition of Dr. Calliope Torres to the bisexual canon, I was given someone to relate to. I was given someone I could point to as a reference. I was given the opportunity to see a new part of myself reflected in one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed TV shows of that time.

Callie came to me at just the right moment, in my formative high school years. She helped me figure it out. She helped me come out.

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So, sure. It's strange for me to say that since the announcement that Sara Ramirez, the actress who brought Callie to life so perfectly, is leaving the show, I’m having a hard time saying goodbye to this fictional character (especially when I don’t even watch her show anymore). But I must admit that’s exactly what’s happening.

It was nice to know that Callie was there fighting the good fight. It was nice to hear updates on Twitter and Tumblr and see new gifs every time she talked about her bisexuality honestly and unapologetically.

As her time on the show comes to an end, I'm finding that I'm glad to have had Callie as my first bisexual role model.  I'm glad that she came into my life when she did, and I am forever grateful to both the writers and to Sara Ramirez, who has been an outspoken advocate for bisexual rights, representation, and visibility. 

We'll miss you, Callie. Dancing around in our underwear won't be the same without you.

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Mckenna Ferguson

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll