Jessica Gunning
(Gilbert Carrasquillo, GC Images)

‘Baby Reindeer’ Star Jessica Gunning Marks Pride Month by Publicly Coming Out as a ‘Big Old Gay’

Jessica Gunning, the breakout star of Netflix smash hit stalking drama Baby Reindeer, has publicly come out as gay and shared the story of her personal journey in getting here.

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She shared her story while marking Pride month on the podcast Reign with Josh Smith. Gunning played a major role in the 2014 movie Pride, but she had something more personal to talk about with Smith (per the Daily Mail). “I came out actually in November 2022 and that was a mega, mega thing for me,” she said, as Smith congratulated her.

She filled fans in on her journey to self-discovery. “I’m surrounded by gays, all my friends are gay and so it wasn’t that I was repressing anything,” she said. “It was just that I didn’t think I could be, and I still can’t articulate it in the best way. But I realized I was a big, old gay. I was like, ‘That’s what it’s been, that’s what it is.’ And that was like a massive moment where everything kind of clicked and I made sense of myself then.”

Gunning had often felt “alien” throughout her life, she said, and at first, she believed this was because of fatphobia. “I’m a bigger woman, and I thought maybe it was to do with my size, that I felt a little bit almost alien, or I was tagging along. But as soon as I realized, I was like, ‘No, it’s that.’ That was the most liberating thing.”

She talked about how she came out to her parents at Christmas in 2022 and then slept for “ten hours” afterwards. “It’s been a little secret, I guess I’ve been keeping from myself even,” she went on. “And not in a kind of hating way. I never felt I was repressing anything in a bad way or that any reaction would be bad. I just kind of was like, I didn’t think I could be.”

Gunning has already starred in LGBT stories

Gunning said that in hindsight, there were signs she was a gay woman, and one of them was her role in Pride. It’s a must-watch for Pride month, a very touching movie all about the partnership between the National Union of Miners and a gay and lesbian group who supported their strike in 1984. Gunning plays Siân James, a real-life Welsh Labour Party politician and straight ally. “I should have even known when I did Pride because I would cry all the time,” Gunning told Smith. “I found it so emotional I should have really known then.”

She also pointed to the play When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, where she starred opposite Cate Blanchett and kissed her onstage—”the lesbian dream,” according to Smith. “And then I did a play with Cate Blanchett where I got to kiss her every night on stage. Again, should have known then. All these signs from the universe! It took me 36 years, but I did it,” she said.

It’s fantastic to see Gunning being out and proud for Pride Month. “Everyone’s been amazing, so supportive,” she said of her coming-out journey. And there’s no doubt her acting career is going to go from strength to strength.


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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.