'Grey's Anatomy' Breaks Ground With Gender Non-Binary Patient Storyline

Grey's Anatomy added a new layer to its legacy of breaking ground for representation on network television with its latest patient storyline.

"Add It Up" featured the long-running medical drama's first gender non-binary patient, who Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Richard (James Pickens Jr.) treat after a serious accident.

While the doctors talk about their concerns about Catherine (Debbie Allen) going back to work so soon after her life-saving surgery, they meet Toby (Arielle Hader), who mostly complains about their mother's reckless driving of a snowmobile.

Toby shares with the doctors that the accident happened because their mother was trying to convince them to face their fears. When Richard unknowingly uses the pronoun "she," Toby corrects him.

"I'm a 'they,' I'm gender queer, non-binary," Toby says. Helm thanks the patient for letting the doctors know their preferred pronouns as Richard attempts to not get confused when talking to the patient.

Fans of the medical drama celebrated the series for featuring the character, and bringing representation of gender non-binary people to broadcast television.

"Also the fact that greys has a gender queer human in this ep... we have decided to stan forever," one Twitter user commented.

"Yasssss!! Y'all betta teach preferred gender pronouns," another user commented.

"[Grey's Anatomy] is always taking steps to make sure that people of different ages, races, sexual orientations and gender identities are represented. That's one of the reasons I love this show so much!" another user commented.

As Toby is getting their scans, Richard brings up the subject of preferred pronouns, asking why he still has to use "they" when referring to the patient even when they're not in the room.

"We're talking about a single entity but 'they' is plural, I mean, it requires a plural verb... or am I supposed to say 'they is,'" Richard wonders. Jackson and Helm attempt to explain it to him, but he struggles with the concept.

Jackson and Helm attempt to explain it to him, but he struggles with the concept and focusing on it being grammatically incorrect. However, Richard comes to understand the importance of the subject.

After surgery, Toby worries about her mom's condition when Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) announces she will be paralyzed after the accident. Jackson comforts his patient and they relate to each others' love for their mothers.


The series is not a stranger to showcasing LGBTQ+ representation on television. From Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona's (Jessica Capshaw) relationship in earlier seasons, to the introduction of transgender intern Dr. Casey Parker (Alex Blue Davis), the show is constantly bringing new characters of different backgrounds and orientations.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.