Teen uses 'Grey's Anatomy' coded message in yearbook to make sexual orientation crystal clear

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For high school seniors, yearbook quotes are final, lasting messages to peers. And the one posted by Albuquerque student Krysta Montoya won’t soon be forgotten because it’s gone viral.

The 18-year-old student used a coded message — “Grey’s Anatomy Season 5, Episode 6, 39:40” — but one, when looked up, with a very clear message. If you go to that exact point in the “Life During Wartime” Oct. 30, 2008, episode of the ABC doc drama, you’ll see Erica Hahn coming out to Callie Torres. “I’m so, so, so gay,” Hahn, played by Brooke Smith, said. “I’m extremely gay!”


And that was the message Montoya was trying to get across to classmates. She explained in an interview with BuzzFeed that the quote she chose was meant to be a “bold message.” While she first came out as gay as a freshman, she had skeptics who did not believe her. “Throughout high school, people said by senior year I’d be dating a boy,” Montoya told BuzzFeed. “So I think I did this to make a bold statement towards that comment from some of my peers.”

Here’s Erica Hahn on <em>Grey’s Anatomy</em> coming out. (Image: YouTube)
Here’s Erica Hahn on Grey’s Anatomy coming out. (Image: YouTube)

It took some time for word to get out about what Montoya’s quote meant. She said that because she got so many questions about it, she finally posted the clip on Twitter. From there, her tweet took on a life of its own, with nearly 39,000 retweets and 150,000 likes.

Smith, who played Hahn on Grey’s Anatomy until 2008, has liked several tweets about Montoya’s message:




Montoya’s post has also inspired others to share their “gay senior quotes”…


…or just applaud Montoya for knowing her true self at such a young age.


The teen told Insider she’s been a longtime fan of the medical drama. “Grey’s Anatomy is probably one of my favorite shows and has made me feel a roller coaster of emotions.” But life has also made her feel a roller coaster of emotions as well. “I’ve lost some friends over my sexuality,” she said, “but my family has always supported me.”

Well, she definitely has a whole lot of new people in her corner now.

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