When Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz tweeted that she was bisexual, queer women were pretty thrilled. Her character, Detective Rosa Diaz, has always had us hoping for a little bit of a lesbianism hidden underneath her stellar leather jackets.
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A talented comic actress, Stephanie has also had memorable roles on shows like Modern Family and lent her voice to the dromaeosaurs, Gertie, in Ice Age: Collision Course. Stephanie is also part of The L.A. Municipal Dance Squad, which performs during half-time of a Los Angeles-based all women’s amateur basketball league boasting players such as Sarah Silverman, Aubrey Plaza and Stephanie Allynne.
We grabbed some time with Stephanie during Fox’s TCA party at the Soho House where she told us about reactions to her coming out and what we can expect from her new love and realtionships podcast, Reality Bytes.
AfterEllen.com: We’re very excited that you’re bisexual.
Stephanie Beatriz: So is everyone but my parents! My dad texted me and was like “Hey, uh, I read…” and I was like “Yeah, Dad, talk to you soon. You wanna Facetime later? I love you!” They were very surprised, but they’re traditionally Catholic, and they’re first generation immigrants—I’m second generation…[pauses] Sorry,
Sorry, Geena Davis just walked in the room, and I can’t stop looking at you, you specimen of a beast. Wow. So they didn’t know I was going to have that reaction ever! But I think they’re 100 percent loving, wonderful parents and love me no matter what. They’re the reason that I’m standing here. They’re the reason I’m able to do this thing.
AE: So what was behind the decision to make it public?
SB: You know what’s funny? I didn’t even think of it as—everyone’s like “She came out!” And I’m like, “That’s so funny.” I’ve never hidden it. I never think of Twitter as really—I don’t know. I know social media is a public forum, but I really feel like it’s a way to connect to people, other human beings. And so to me it’s like a weird electronic coffee date. So I say all the things I would normally say to my friends, and when Aubrey posted that article, I was like “Yeah, totally!” So I retweeted it, and everyone was like “What’s happening!?” which was really sweet.
AE: I think it’s especially meaningful for women of color and bisexual women who feel like they don’t have a lot of out public women to look up to.
SB: That was really the dopest was all of the women that sort of tweeted back at me and said “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I feel so alone; I feel weird; I feel crazy inside. Thanks for saying that I’m not.” No, baby, you’re not! You’re normal. As normal as any of us are.
AE: And I think a lot of women have crushes on your character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
SB: That’s very flattering. That’s extremely flattering, and I love it very much.
AE: And you’re a dancer as well. Tell me about your dance background.
SB: My dance squad is called the L.A. City Municipal Dance Squad, you can follow us on Instagram. We perform halftime at games—actually for Aubrey Plaza’s basketball team. I started dancing when I was a kid. It was one of the things my parents really saved up for us to do. I took ballet and when I started high school drill team was very big in Texas. Drill team, dance team, and then I fell in love with theater and quit dancing to do theater. But it’s always been a big love of mine. Performing in general, but especially dancing is so fun. If there was a dance floor right now, I would cut a rug for sure.
AE: You’re also starting a podcast.
SB: It’s called Reality Bytes—bytes with a “y,” a riff on the movie that we all know and love. It’s a podcast about sex, love, relationships of all kinds and dating in the digital age. Because this world is completely new to all of us. And I actually just recently got out of an eight-year relationship.
AE: So you’re single!
SB: So single. And there’s good and bad with that. And so my best friend and I—Courtney Kocak, who’s an amazing writer. She writes for Danger & Eggs and other things. There’s so many aspects to this relationship thing, and all of them are influenced by this little gadget [motions to her phone] that we all carry around in our pockets.
AE: Are you on Tinder or Raya?
SB: I’m on the Raya. It’s very strange. It’s all very strange. You like someone; they like you back; you don’t message each other for four days.
AE: I heard Ruby Rose is on there if she’s your type.
SB: Ruby Rose is everybody’s type. Let’s be real. I haven’t matched with her yet. I hope I do. Ruby Rose if you’re listening. Also, Kate McKinnon—she’s my everything. I think she must be dating someone right now because I don’t even know. Someone give me her address, and I’ll write her a love letter.
So the podcast is just basically us exploring this world of what this is and how to sort of navigate it and whether or not we can figure out how to help each other set sail or drop your anchor. What is it? What do you want to do? How do you want to feel? How do you want to live in this very curated world? How do you make a human connection through this little gadget? … We’re gonna be interviewing lot’s of relationship experts all across the board, and also our friends.
One of the things I’m excited about is having [Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-stars] Melissa [Fumero] and Joe [Lo Truglio] on to talk about what it’s like to be a parent in this world. Becuase both of them are new parents. It’s all fresh and new to them. Raising babies in a digital age—what is that? How do you create a relationship that feels solid and grounded and good with your kid when this thing [motions to her phone] is standing in the middle of it?
Reality Bytes debuts, along with the season premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, on September 20. On August 18, Stephanie and Courtney will appear live on Call Your Girlfriend at the theater at the Ace Hotel.