Baby Reindeer’s Jessica Gunning comes out publicly as ‘a big old gay’

Baby Reindeer actress Jessica Gunning in a white and silver dress, smiling.

Baby Reindeer star Jessica Gunning has come out publicly while discussing her sexuality for the first time, revealing that she is “a big, old gay”.

The British actress, 38, ascended to the upper echelons of fame earlier this year following the release of Netflix’s world-renowned thriller-comedy series Baby Reindeer, in which Gunning plays “Martha”, a woman who stalks an aspiring comedian.

Now, speaking to journalist Josh Rein on his podcast Reign with Josh Smith about the show and her identity, Gunning marked Pride month by sharing her personal coming out story, and explaining how “liberating” it is to now be living as her authentic self.

“I came out in November 2022. And that was a mega, mega thing for me,” she explained, the Daily Mail reports.

“I am surrounded by gays, like all my friends are gay, so it wasn’t that I was repressing anything, it was just that I didn’t think that I could be.

“I still can’t articulate it in the best way,” she continued. “But I realised 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.”

Jessica Gunning as Martha, who is based on a real-life stalker, in Baby Reindeer on Netflix
Stalker Martha is played by Jessica Gunning in Baby Reindeer on Netflix. (Netflix)

Gunning suggested that there were several times throughout her life when she noticed signs that she could be part of the LGBTQ+ community: in 2019, she starred in the National Theatre production of When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, in which she had to kiss honorary lesbian Cate Blanchett

She also starred in the 2014 film Pride, which told the true story of the LGBTQ+ activists who would become part of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign.

The star went on to explain that she felt “like an alien” before she came out, something she attributed at first to her being a “bigger woman”.

“For so long I’d thought, ‘I know I’m a bigger woman’, and I thought that maybe it was to do with my size that I felt a bit like almost alien or like I was tagging along.

“But as soon as I realised, I was like ‘No, it’s that’’, and that was like the most liberating thing,” she added.

While Gunning’s now magnum opus Baby Reindeer tells a harrowing true story, it’s brimming with queer talent – with Gunning now added to that list.

The show is written by and stars LGBTQ+ comedian Richard Gadd, who was stalked by a woman called “Martha” after he offered her a cup of tea.

Baby Reindeer depicts Gadd as a comedian name Donny Dunn, who has to endure online and in-person stalking from Martha, who physically attacks his trans girlfriend Teri – played by trans actress Nava Mau.

The real-life inspiration for Gunning’s character Martha has since waived her anonymity and spoken to Piers Morgan about the show, dubbing it “rubbish”.

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