Let’s welcome another fictional character to the ever-expanding on-screen LGBT community! Fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine know that Detective Rosa Diaz (played by Stephanie Beatriz) is a cagey person. She prefers to keep her personal life to herself, thank you very much. Indeed, a lot of the humor surrounds Detective Diaz’s privacy as she so often enjoys wielding her secrecy to create a mysterious (and badass) persona. And so, while it wasn’t too much of a surprise, the revelation that Detective Diaz is currently dating a woman and that she identifies as bisexual, is an all too welcome gesture in a TV landscape that so rarely explores bisexuality in earnest.
Of course, in true Brooklyn Nine-Nine fashion, this wasn’t some teary-eyed coming out. During the show’s 99th episode this week the merry band of goofballs and oddballs that make up the New York City-set cop show traveled cross-country for a funeral in Los Angeles. And while Detective Diaz wouldn’t otherwise have shared this personal tidbit of information with her co-workers, trust Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) to sneak it out of her. He’d heard a woman on the phone refer to Diaz as “babe” and unable to get him off her case she eventually came clean though asked he let it go (which, he was never going to do).
This historic episode aired only a year after Stephanie Beatriz came out herself, in a very nonchalant way on Twitter. For Beatriz, the admission on the show was merely an extension of her character’s inner life. Here she is discussing with Entertainment Weekly the revelation and its importance: “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.”
Hopefully the writers continue mining Rosa’s story in the coming episodes, further illuminating the bi experience in what continues to be one of the more undervalued sitcoms out there.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs its 100th episode December 12, 2017.