You may remember that last year, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actress Stephanie Beatriz shared her bisexuality in the most casual way. Beatriz plays the tough, badass, and very private Rosa Diaz. For its 99th episode, the show took a cue from real life and revealed that Diaz is also bisexual.
— SPOOKlyn Nine-Nine (@nbcbrooklyn99) December 6, 2017
While LGBTQ representation on TV has gotten better recently, it’s still unusual for characters to actually use the word “bisexual”. Past stigmatization of this identity still lingers on television. Bi characters are often referred to as “exploring”, “not into labels”, or constantly changing between gay or straight.
This revelation came after Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) asked Rosa why he’d heard a woman’s voice on the phone refer to her as “babe”. She’s initially dismissive of his enthusiasm and support, but later apologizes, explaining that she doesn’t want this to change anything.
However, this won’t be the only glimpse we get into Rosa’s mysterious persona. The 100th episode has promised to explore her story in greater depth (and humor) as she starts sharing the news with those closest to her.
Stephanie Beatriz herself had input on this particular storyline, and spoke about what this means to her as an actress and bi woman.
I mean, if you’re 14 years old and an avid Twitter user, it’s probably been something that you’ve been hoping for for a while, so I don’t know if it’s a major revelation if you’re any kind of LGBTQ teen who’s desiring representation on TV. I think for Rosa, this is something she’s known about herself for a long, long time. For the audience, some people may be surprised, other people are going to rejoice and say, “Finally!” For me, as an actress, I’ve always felt something there. But for the writers, that’s something they’ve discovered organically over the last four seasons.
Both Beatriz and the writers had thought about that storyline for her character, and it’s something that they started developing for this season. She was excited because she hadn’t seen much representation, except in minor characters that were usually killed off, something that is definitely not happening Rosa Diaz.
It’s really cool to me that our show is exploring something with almost the safety net underneath it, telling the audience, “Look, we’re not doing this so that we can explore a story and simply throw it away when it’s convenient for us. We are going to keep this person around because we love this person already.” It’s part of the family.