Being a queer woman of color, made the cancellation of Brooklyn Nine-Nine all those months ago, hurt even more than I expected. Rosa Diaz, this badass, out of the box, and real representation of what it was to be Latina, had just come out as bisexual. And before we could dive in, before we could really get to know Rosa and the new facets of her out and proud bisexual life, this show was axed. Gone and cancelled by the ones who gave us all this queer and Latinx beauty.
Thank God, or whatever celestial being is out there, for NBC. They came in when Nine-Nine needed them most and brought them to their new home. And for that I will always be eternally grateful for. Not just because I need more Peraltiago in my life, or because I need to know what happened to Captain Holt and his job, but because we will get to see more of Rosa in all her bisexual glory.
Now, what we have so far is a Rosa who told her families. Yes, I’m going plural there because Rosa has two families: those by blood and then those in the precinct. Rosa got to a point where she felt comfortable telling those in her life at the precinct that she was bisexual. And for those that remember, Rosa is super personal and wouldn’t even tell Jake about the man she was dating all those seasons ago after working years and years with Jake.
It took time to warm up and tell Jake bits and bobs of her life. And the same goes for her sexuality. She felt comfortable enough to let the Nine-Nine know that there were no limits to her love. And it went so damn well, even with Hitchcock being himself and looking like he was two seconds away from asking a vile question. Rosa’s family accepted her, had her back when Gina Rodriguez’ guest star role came strutting into Rosa’s life, and when her other family didn’t accept her.
Being Latina and queer, I can tell you that telling your family that you’re bisexual is a hard feat in itself. I’ve been open about it for years. I’ve expressed by love for Rachel Weisz while crying over Orlando Bloom in my teen years and to my blood relatives it meant nothing. It’s like my mom wanted to ignore what was right in front of her. Just like when Rosa’s parents were playing Pictionary and they couldn’t get that she’d drawn two women getting married. For ultra conservative and traditional Latinos, being queer isn’t ever seen as a possibility so they just gloss over any signals or signs of their children being queer.
That’s what my mom did to me. And that’s what Rosa’s parents did to her. In comparison, my coming out went a bit better than expected. I was going to A-Camp, basically a queer camp explosion of love in California, and since I’m living with my family still, I gave them the information of where I was going cuz adulting. My mom couldn’t understand why I was going to A-Camp even after I explained. She got this really confused look when I explained the queer glory that I was going to be surrounded by at camp.
Mother then asked, “Why would you be going to a gay camp?”
Me, eyes wide and putting one knee up like I’m some gay cowboy ready to drop down some wisdom, said, “Well, when a girl likes a girl, or when a boy likes a boy, or when someone doesn’t identify as neither and wants to addressed as “they/them,” they end in fantastic safe areas like A-Camp.”
To say the least, I blew my mom’s mind. I had to backtrack, throw some examples at her and questioned her on how she could doubt my undying love for Rachel Weisz in The Mummy 1 & 2. Yes, I was appreciating her characters wit, knowledge, and heart. But I was also admiring her tight cream colored pants in the second Mummy movie. Same thing goes for Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings. Pants.
Ultimately my mom decided to ignore it all and blankly told me to have a safe flight and that she would never attend my wedding if I married a woman. Newsflash: you wouldn’t be invited to my wedding, mother. Even if I was marrying a man! But that’s additional baggage that needs to be brought out for another time and post because it’s about so much more than her being a homophobe.
For Rosa, things went to shit after she told her parents. They couldn’t understand or even see that she could be queer like my mom did with me. They didn’t believe her words and in many ways I kind of think their response was mocking and rude. Rosa’s parents could not acknowledge and would not acknowledge that there was something more when it came to loving someone. They made it so Rosa and her experiences, were not real to them when they dismissed her coming out. Like, to her parents, this part of Rosa’s life were just a phase or a mirage brought my some queer heathen that lured a good Latina like her to the dark side. (Seriously, that’s a thing. Queer is equated with promiscuity. And traditionalists like to throw that card down when their precious jem of a daughter or son comes out as queer. Because obviously they would never choose this queer life if it wasn’t for the influence of someone else.)
I’m glad that Rosa stuck to her guns, kept pushing forward, and when she saw that her family wasn’t ready to move on with her, then she was going to keep living her life and moving on from them. That’s not to say that they can’t rebuild their relationship. We’ve already seen the dad coming forward and trying to wrap his mind around all of this. But Rosa isn’t going to let their disapproval, their willingness to believe that love isn’t love no matter what’s between your legs, stop her from being the bisexual woman she is now.
Rosa Diaz is not going back into the closet. And we’re proud, we’re excited, and we can’t wait for what this means now that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is set to premiere it’s sixth season on a new network and home.
For season six Rosa, aka 20gay19 Rosa, we’re hoping for an exploration of what it means now that she can date women openly without being scared of people finding out or judging her. The people who matter already know and it’s Rosa’s time to be free and open to new possibilities. If those possibilities mean that we get more Gina Rodriguez in our lives, then so be it. We’re hoping for dating, the beginning of relationships with men or women, with the partner knowing that Rosa is bisexual.
We’re even hoping for her family to come back and for them to work out how their relationship has changed since they dropped her like a sack of queer potatoes. Throw some cousins and some aunts into the mix during a family celebration and work through what the aunts, uncles, and grandma’s think of all this. Because you better believe that the rest of Rosa’s family has an opinion about her bisexuality and it plays into why Latinx parents don’t want to go against the grain of what is acceptable in the family because if not then you’re an outsider. All Latinos have opinions and God help the person who tries to stop them from laying it all out.
Ultimately, and most importantly when it comes to Rosa Diaz’ bisexuality on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I want our queer Latinx detective to just be….herself. I want her to be her normal knife wielding badass. I want her to solve cases, go on adventures with her friends, and stop the bad guys of New York City while being bisexual. I don’t want her sexuality to change the way we look at her, the writers look at her, or how the Nine-Nine should look at her.
She is just Rosa Diaz and normalizing her way of life is a huge step into making queerness something more than the “other” or the not easily understood so let’s ignore it. Because Latinx women, men, families, etc. are watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And like they’ve done since the dawn of time aka birth, people have learned a great deal about the world from the content they consume. So giving us a Rosa Diaz that has her sexuality explored, respected, and acknowledged, goes a long way to making queerness something that isn’t so scary for Latinx people, especially those dealing with a family member coming out or being on the brink of coming out themselves.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is setting a standard, pushing past stereotypes, and delivering content that makes queer viewers of color feel like they belong. All of this and more is why Rosa Diaz coming out as bisexual is so important and why I can’t wait for more!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 6 premieres Thursday, January 10 at 9/8c on NBC.