Ncuti Gatwa’s coming out has fans getting all sorts of emotional: ‘Team queer keeps winning’

Ncuti Gatwa in a promotional photo for Doctor Who. He is wearing a brown and black chequered jacket and orange top with a necklace. He is looking off camera. The sky is behind him.

Ncuti Gatwa fans are all up in their feelings after the Sex Education spoke openly about his queerness for the first time in a new interview. 

While Gatwa has previously expressed his desire to “set boundaries” between his public and private lives, the 30-year-old actor addressed his sexuality for the first time with a moving anecdote about seeing another Rwandan person at Pride.

“I remember being at Manchester Pride, going through the streets with all my boys, shaking my cha-chas, living it up, when I saw this woman who looked exactly like my auntie,” he told Elle Magazine

“She wasn’t – but I knew she was Rwandan … We were holding hands, and she said to me, ‘I don’t really know why I’m here. I’m just here.’ I told her, ‘Honey, you don’t need to know. You absolutely. Do not. Need. To. Know. You’re here. Be proud of who you are.'”

Then, reflecting on his own queerness for the first time publicly, he shared: “I had never met another queer Rwandan person before. I thought I was the only one in the world.”

Ncuti Gatwa in a black and white shirt and black and yellow neck tie.
Ncuti Gatwa. (Getty/ Raimonda Kulikauskiene)

While Gatwa has played the openly gay Sex Education fan favourite character Eric Effiong since 2019, his revelation indicates that Doctor Who fans will have their first ever openly queer Time Lord.

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Gatwa will lead the 14th and 15th seasons of BBC’s Doctor Who, alongside trans Heartstopper breakout star Yasmin Finney. The new series, which will kick off in 2024, will be helmed by former Doctor Who and It’s A Sin writer, queer TV legend Russel T Davies.

Three 60th anniversary Doctor Who specials will air in November, with trans ally David Tennant and British comic Catherine Tate returning. The specials, and the 2024 series, will both be full to the brim with queer talent – including RuPaul’s Drag Race two-time winner Jinkx Monsoon, and the series’ first trans man, Pete McHale

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Ncuti Gatwa (L) and Yasmin Finney (R) will appear together in Doctor Who.
Ncuti Gatwa (L) and Yasmin Finney (R) will appear together in Doctor Who. (Getty)

The idea of an LGBTQ+ actor as the Doctor has been a little too much for some zealous, queer Doctor Who fans to bear. On social media, they’ve been getting teary-eyed and emotional.

“Ncuti Gatwa has by far the most inspiring story of anybody who’s played the Doctor,” wrote one fan on X, formerly Twitter, while another simply shared: “This brings me an unbridled amount of joy.”

“Our first Black, queer Doctor. Doctor Who continues to make history and expand the definition of who can inhabit the role and who the Doctor can be. I couldn’t be more thrilled,” shared a third. “This representation will be so important for so many.”

Another added: “What a ridiculously handsome man! Team queer keeps winning.”

Among the flurry of moving and congratulatory posts celebrating Gatwa’s journey with queerness, there was a predictable fair few who – eye-roll – claimed to already know about his identity.

That’s despite the Barbie actor never having discussed his sexuality before now.

However, other queer fans have responded to the “we all knew” crew with a few choice words.

“We as a community need to move the f**k on from the ‘we all knew’ comments. How would y’all feel if you came out and someone said that?” wrote one person.

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“We don’t get to say ‘we knew’ because no, no we did not. We assume too much without celebrating people’s actual identities when and if they choose to share them with us,” added another.

A third chimed in with: “I genuinely thought he was already out and that’s on me – and the rest of us – for assuming. So proud of him.”

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