Arizona Robbins has been smiling at me through a TV screen since I was around 11 years old. It’s hard to believe that’s coming to an end… and really soon. I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do to say goodbye to her, and writing about it was just natural for me, as you probably all expected. So, that’s what I’m going to do.
Thank you for teaching me how to love unconditionally.
Thank you for teaching me that a smile can change someone’s life.
Thank you for teaching me to keep going, even when it feels like the world is ending.
These lessons I’ve learned are all so important, but I think the most important lesson Arizona taught me was to be myself and to never apologize for doing so. That’s something that stuck with me, and something I finally started practicing within the past 3 years of my life. I’ve learned that if someone doesn’t like me, they don’t deserve me. It’s as simple as that.
But, the biggest point of this is to acknowledge what Arizona Robbins did for my friends, one in particular.
Until Calzona, the LGBTQ community was seriously underrepresented on network television. The representation is still lacking, but Calzona, without a doubt, started to break through that… can I call it a glass ceiling? Suddenly, people saw themselves on TV, they saw someone love the way they loved and it made it okay. It made it acceptable.
It made them brave enough to say, “you know what? I love girls.” Or, “you know what? I love guys.” Or maybe it was, “you know what? I love everyone.”
I’ve had several friends find the solace they needed through watching Arizona and Callie’s relationship on screen––enough that they were able to come out to those they loved. Their families, their friends, Twitter… and I’ve never seen such an outpouring of love.
I can think of one friend in particular (whose name I will not say) who may not be here today if she hadn’t run across Grey’s Anatomy and Calzona’s love story.
I knew she was gay, but her family didn’t. She knew that being gay was not okay in their eyes, and she lived in constant fear because of it. She knew she couldn’t change who she was and who she loved, but she also knew that her family would try anyway.
But when she first saw Arizona Robbins, everything shifted. She began to slowly tell people, starting with her family. She sat them down and played the “good man in a storm” scene for her parents, and then told them that she was gay.
They cried together and hugged her. And then her mom pointed out every cute girl she saw. It made for a good laugh/cry moment for the two of us over FaceTime the next day.
Arizona Robbins gave her the courage to do what she never thought she would, and the reaction was something she never imagined.
So, I want to say thank you to Arizona for not only giving my friend the courage to do something so huge and life-changing, but also for giving her parents a reason to continue to support her and love her. Arizona changed their viewpoints on the entire LGBTQ community. Now their entire family works for LGBTQ rights, they attend marches and rallies, and my friend is now in a committed, loving relationship.
None of that would have happend had she not met Arizona Robbins.
She saved her life.
And that’s only one story out of the hundreds that exist. That’s impact. That’s invaluable. That’s love.
It’s all about love.
So, thank you, Arizona.