Broadway and television actress Sara Ramirez opened up about her sexuality while speaking at a Saturday seminar for homeless LGBT youth.
The 41-year-old “Grey’s Anatomy” star used her Oct. 8 appearance at the True Colors Fund’s 40 to None Summit in Los Angeles, California, to come out publicly as a “queer, bisexual” woman.
“So many of our youth experiencing homelessness are youth whose lives touch on many intersections – whether they be gender identity, gender expression, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship status,” she said in her speech, which can be viewed in the video above. “Because of the intersections that exist in my own life: woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American, immigrant, and raised by families heavily rooted in Catholicism on both my Mexican and Irish sides, I am deeply invested in projects that allow our youth’s voices to be heard.”
Ramirez, who nabbed a Tony Award in 2005 for her role in the Broadway musical “Spamalot,” reiterated those remarks in a tweet posted Saturday.
The actress told The Huffington Post in an email Monday that her decision to come out publicly at the event was a “very organic and natural” one.
“It made sense for me at this time as it was one piece of a larger context I was communicating,” she told HuffPost. “Our most marginalized youth touch on many intersections, and in describing the concept of inter sectionalities, I decided to describe the ones that exist in my own life.”
She went on to note, “The days of pressuring our LGBTQ youth to conform to one homogenized way of presenting LGBTQ are over. We must acknowledge and maintain awareness around their complex narratives.”
The True Colors Fund, the New York-based homeless LGBT youth advocacy group, quickly tweeted its support for Ramirez on Saturday.
Ramirez, who is married to business analyst Ryan DeBolt, offered similar praise for the organization, which was co-founded by Cyndi Lauper.
“I’ve witnessed serious hypocrisy in spaces that claim to be for equality, but the True Colors Fund is the real deal. They don’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk,” she told HuffPost.
The actress has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community for some time, and has appeared in Spanish-language PSAs for GLAAD. Her “Grey’s Anatomy” character, Callie Torres, tied the knot with a fellow doctor in a same-sex wedding on a 2011 episode of the show. In 2009, she launched a foundation in honor of her best friend, Al D. Rodriguez, a gay actor-singer from New York who died of cancer.
Congrats, Sara, on living an authentic life ― and using your voice to generate conversation around an often-overlooked subset of the LGBT community!