The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey opens up about why they ‘fought’ non-binary identity for so long

Bella Ramsey wears a suit at the 2023 Met Gala.

Bella Ramsey has spoken about their gender identity, sexuality and the queer romance at the heart of The Last of Us season two.

It’s already been months since the brutal, bloody finale of HBO’s hit apocalyptic series The Last of Us. The instalment saw Pedro Pascal (as Joel Miller) essentially shoot up a hospital to save his companion’s life from a fatal operation, leaving viewers conflicted.

That companion was Ellie Williams, played by Ramsey, and the series itself catapulted them to new levels of stardom among TV fans, critics and gamers alike.

While it wasn’t Ramsey’s first role in a major project (Game of Thrones and His Dark Materials stake a claim in that category), it was the first time most people will remember the actor opening up about their gender identity and sexuality – from revealing that Ellie wore a binder most days on set, to thanking their “gay army” of Twitter followers.

The star came out as non-binary while doing press appearances for the show.

“Although I was confident on set, I was very shy everywhere else,” they told British Vogue. “I’ve fought that word (non-binary) for so long. I didn’t want people to think I was just trying to be trendy. But it’s a very succinct way to describe who I am.”

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Ramsey went on to explain that using they/them pronouns is “the most truthful” in terms of their gender identity.

“I had a lot of anxiety around pronouns. When The Last of Us first came out, I was like, ‘Everyone just call me she because I look like a she to you, so it’s fine’. But now I’m able to vocalise it more… that’s who I am the most.”

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Addressing their sexuality, Ramsey revealed that they are also fluid – although they’re not quite sure what that means, apart from being “wavy”.

The actor explained: “You never fully know who you are, it’s ever-evolving. But I certainly think that people have gathered that I’m not 100 per cent straight. I’m a little bit wavy, you know? That’s what I like to say.”

The Last of Us, season two, contains a queer romance between Ellie and newcomer Dina, who many fans think appeared briefly during the show’s first season.

“I can’t wait for that storyline,” they said. “The fact that the LGBTQ+ community – my community – is supporting me and uplifting me and making me feel cool is such a privilege.

“I feel very protected and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Although the new season of The Last of Us has not yet started filming, Ramsey will soon be seen in the BBC’s prison drama, Time.

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