Warning: Contains spoilers for season 5, episode 9 of Brooklyn 99, which aired Tuesday 5 Dec in the US
Last night marked the 99th episode of Fox’s Brooklyn 99, which has been airing since 2013, and a massive reveal for one of the squad.
When Charles Boyle, played by Joe Lo Truglio, finds out that Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) is dating someone new, he’s desperate to find out who it is. Rosa, known for being steely and guarded about her personal life, refuses to give anything away.
When Charles hears her refer to a woman on the phone as “babe,” Rosa admits “I’m dating a woman.”
Rosa brushes off Charles’ support, refusing to give anything else away, but later confides that she is bisexual, and that she didn’t tell anyone because she didn’t want her relationships to change.
But, she says later, that despite her reputation as a steely-emotioned badass, “it felt really good to tell someone in the squad finally.”
The next episode, which mark 100, will apparently greater explore Rosa’s plotline, and how the other characters will react.
Beatriz told Entertainment Weekly that she’s thought of her character as queer or bisexual since early on in the show.
After Beatriz herself came out as queer last year, she hoped it would be something she could bring into the show. She says she had planned to pitch it to the writers, but the writers ended up suggesting it to her first.
For her, seeing LGBT+ representation in pop culture is hugely important, especially as so many lesbian and bisexual women characters are one-dimensional, or worse, killed-off in the “Bury your Gays” trope.
“I can really only speak for myself, and for me, what I think is important is a person that is fully fleshed-out in all the ways that we would like the character to be,” she told EW.
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“I love that in this specific iteration, this is someone that the audience already knows, they’ve already established a relationship with, and they care for her. And now on top of that, they’re getting to know her a little bit more. The relationship is deepening.”
She also said that it was extremely important to her to have the word ‘bisexual’ said by Rosa herself, as the term is often skated around on television, as form of bisexual-erasure.
“I suggested that that word was really important to Rosa and that it also would be really important to the bi community to have that word said aloud on TV.”
“Not just a suggestion that she dates girls now, but a clarity on this character: This is who I am, and I’d like you to know it — and accept it.”
Adam, a character played by Tyler Posey on popular show Jane the Virgin, was recently revealed as bisexual. However although other characters used the word bisexual, he suggested he preferred not to label himself.
Since coming out, Beatriz has been an active spokesperson for the LGBT+ community, particularly for queer women of colour.
Payman Benz, who directed the episode, said he was so proud of the work they’d put in, and what they’d achieved.
And, of course, the fans are obsessed.
They (and we) can’t wait to see where this storyline goes, bring on next week!