Welcome to the latest installment of our 2022 Pride Month Series! Each weekday in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQIA+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQIA+ community and in mainstream media. Today’s spotlight is on Carina DeLuca, the Italian OB/GYN attending at Grey Sloan Memorial in Grey’s Anatomy and spin-off, Station 19.
First introduced in season 14 of Grey’s Anatomy, Carina (portrayed by Stefania Spampinato) quickly became a fan-favorite. Audiences adored her witty personality, matched with her eccentric characteristics and female empowerment. And when she started appearing on Station 19 beginning in season 3, it was clear her heart caught the eye of firefighter Maya Bishop, whom we spotlighted last year. The two together are a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to supporting one another. Carina has gone through a lot in the years she’s been on the shows, but she has also done a lot to not give up, and it’s why she’s being highlighted.
Fans were first introduced to Carina in season 14 of Grey’s Anatomy, and they immediately fell for her charm, wit, and personality. After finding out that her little brother, Andrew, was working for a female Chief of Surgery, Carina came to Seattle to meet with Miranda Bailey about doing research about the female orgasm at Grey Sloan. While it seemed like Carina wasn’t going to be on for very long, she caught the eyes of several doctors and has remained on since.
One thing that stands out about Carina is how much she cares about others, specifically her baby brother. Carina and Andrew’s relationship is like your typical sibling relationship. They loved each other, were embarrassed by one another, were proud of each other, and just wanted the best for their sibling.
Carina offered Andrew to stay with her after breaking up with Sam Bello, even if that meant walking in on her and Arizona. When he had a mental breakdown, all Carina wanted was to be there for him. Andrew’s mental stability was not good at one point, and both of them were afraid he was going to end up like their father, who was not a good man. But Carina never once gave up on him, and she had the support that she needed to help him.
Someone else that will always have Carina’s heart is her wife, firefighter Maya Bishop. The two first met in the third season of Station 19 at a bar. The relationship started off as nothing, mostly just as a hookup here and there. They eventually realize that they both want to take things further, and to do so, they vacation together. Throughout their relationship, Carina is always there for Maya when she needs her. Even when they get into fights, Carina is still waiting for Maya to come back. However, after Maya admits to Carina she slept with Jack, Carina reluctantly tells Maya she loves her. This new relationship was new territory for the both of them, and it shows how supportive and understanding they are of each other.
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Last season on Station 19, the couple took their relationship a bit further. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Marina had been struggling with social distancing. Barely seeing each other was getting to them, with Carina being at the hospital and Maya at the fire station on the frontlines. After talking it out, Maya suggests Carina move in with her to make things easier on the both of them.
Just episodes later, things took a turn for the worse. Throughout season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy, Andrew’s mental health was declining. He was getting more agitated and bipolar. It was a tough time for Carina because she wanted to be there for him; she just wanted to help him even if he didn’t necessarily want the help. It took some time, but Andrew got the help he needed, and Carina could finally breathe again while also keeping a lookout for her little brother.
Soon, things changed. After the DeLuca siblings tracked down a woman who Andrew was positive was responsible for sex trafficking, he gets stabbed. Despite the efforts at Grey Sloan, Andrew later dies. Maya takes time off from work to be there for Carina. She is in constant pain and agony, as if a part of her died along with her brother.
The aftermath of Andrew’s death was heartbreaking. He and Carina were as close as ever, and it’s like nothing was the same after it. Even now, Carina still feels that heartache, as most people do when they have to say goodbye to a loved one. But it’s because of Maya that she’s able to get through everything. Not long after Andrew’s death, she reveals she may go back to Italy since her visa’s expiring. While Maya offers to go with her, Carina does end up going by herself since Maya realized she can’t leave the station. They both don’t want Carina to leave, and when Maya brings up the idea of marriage, Carina admits she doesn’t believe in it due to what her parents went through.
Thankfully, on the way to the airport, Carina talks with a friend back home, making her realize that she really does love Maya and would do anything to be with her. She meets Maya and Andy at the hospital and proposes to Maya. The pandemic and Andrew’s death only brought them closer together. Although things were a bit bumpy for them this past season, it was well worth it.
During this current fifth season of Station 19, Carina and Maya have had the chance to discuss expanding their family. While at first Maya wasn’t on board with having kids and Carina wanted it, Maya gave in after spending some time with Dean’s daughter, Pru. Their journey to finding a sperm donor was not an easy one. Carina and Maya both want very specific things for their sperm donor and it nearly tears them apart. However, after Jack brings up to Carina that he could be the sperm donor, things take a different turn.
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Here they have someone they know, they can trust, but with Maya’s history with Jack and Carina not being his biggest fan, it was unclear where it would go. After coming to multiple dead ends with a sperm donor, Carina and Maya talk to Jack about really being the donor and the three start to work towards making it happen. Things got a bit bumpy towards the end of the season, as Carina’s hormones were starting to get to her and after it was found out that Jack has a brother, Carina was feeling even worse, missing her brother.
This last year has not been easy for Carina, not in the slightest. Or, even her entire life hasn’t been easy. Losing her brother, struggling with getting deported, having problems with her marriage, it does a number on you. However, the last few episodes of season 5 of Station 19 brought some light to her life. Things turned around with Maya and Jack, and the three started to work towards bringing a baby into the world. And in the season finale, Carina was able to get her green card.
Carina DeLuca is an empowered female doctor who cares so much about her patients, her friends, and her family. While she may not have had the greatest life growing up, she has the best one now, and it’s all because of who she is sharing that life with. Maya brings out the best in her and they are always there for each other in the worst times, even if it seems like they can’t really help. Seeing how Carina and Maya grow stronger in season 6 will surely be something to look forward to, and how Carina will deal with even more challenges that will probably come along with having a baby. If anyone can do it, she can.
Stay tuned to Nerds and Beyond for the next installment of our Pride Month series!