Sophy Ziss
May 21, 2018 1:20 pm

Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Rosa Diaz is a tough, intimidating, and often unpredictable detective. When she came out as bisexual in episodes 99 and 100, fans went wild. In a conversation with Vulture, actress Stephanie Beatriz revealed that her own life was the inspiration for Rosa’s coming out. Yes, you’re about to love her even more.

In a thoughtful and hilarious conversation, Beatriz discussed discovering her bisexuality in her personal life — and exploring it on TV as Rosa Diaz.

Fierce and fearsome, Diaz’s image has hardly softened in the five seasons Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been on the air — even her love of romantic comedies and adding a “pop of color” to her apartment with lemons couldn’t detract from her motorcycle and love of knives. Diaz’s co-workers love her for it. When she finally revealed to a select few that her new romantic partner was a woman, they were as supportive and loving (and to her, irritating) as ever. This was a situation Beatriz had long prepared for. As she explained:

"Last year, before we started Season 5, [showrunner] Dan Goor...called me and said, 'I just want to be very sensitive about this, and I really want to hear your honest answer. Would you be open to us exploring a story where Rosa comes out as bisexual?' and I was like, 'Absolutely. Yes. I’m so excited! Yes! Yes! Yes!' So it was like, 'Tens, tens, tens across the board.'"

After a series of extremely fortunate events — including Beatriz formally coming out to fans on Twitter — it was officially written into the show. In the season finale, and this *totally* isn’t even a spoiler, Rosa brings another queer woman of color with her to Jake and Amy’s wedding. Okay, I’ll just say it: It’s Gina Rodriguez. Her girlfriend is played by Jane the Virgin star (and Beatriz’s IRL BFF) Gina Rodriguez. SWOONING EVERYWHERE.

After OK’ing Rosa’s identity with Beatriz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine took it a step further, by ensuring that the landmark episodes — the 100th in particular — would feature Rosa coming out to her parents.

According to Stephanie Beatriz, it was all Dan Goor’s idea. She loved the concept of the highly publicized episodes also *coincidentally* being the launch pad for a woman of color coming out to her parents. Further, it was important to Beatriz that Diaz use the word bisexual. No more invisibility, erasure, or denial here.

The main thing for me was that the character said “bisexual” and that she said it so many times. She names her sexuality, versus many bisexual characters that you see in television in the past that have just happened to date men and women... There were a lot of lines we put in when Rosa came out to her parents that were things I really wanted to stress. Like the phrase, “Bisexuality’s not really a thing.” “You’ll grow out of it.” “It’s just a phase.”

She also spoke with Vulture at length about how characters that are openly bisexual don’t tend to last long in pop culture. Honestly, Rosa Diaz is an inspiration — but Stephanie Beatriz is goals AF. You can read her full conversation, in which she discusses finding her sexuality, navigating it in her personal life, and bringing it to Brooklyn Nine-Nine here.

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