“Baby Reindeer” star Jessica Gunning just came out as “a big old gay”

May 21, 2022: Jessica Gunning attends the "The Outlaws" TV Preview Photocall at BFI Radio Times Television Festival
May 21, 2022: Jessica Gunning attends the "The Outlaws" TV Preview Photocall at BFI Radio Times Television Festival Photo: Shutterstock

Jessica Gunning, best known for her role in Netflix’s hit show Baby Reindeer, came out publicly today on the podcast Reign with Josh Smith.

Gunning says she told family and friends about two years ago, in November 2022. She said, “I didn’t think I could be [gay]. I still can’t articulate it in the best way. But I realized I was a big old gay… and that was a massive moment where everything clicked and I made sense of myself then.”

Gunning also said that it “wasn’t that I was repressing anything, being gay” and that “I am surrounded by gays. Like, all my friends are gay.”

Gunning said that she always felt different, like she “was a bit alien,” and attributed it to the fact she is plus-size. “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,” she said.

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

Gunning played Martha in Baby Reindeer, both the show and her performance have recieved acclaim. Baby Reindeer is a dark comedy/psychological thriller about a middle-aged woman stalking a comedian, based on real life events experienced by creator and star Richard Gadd.

The show, in which Gadd’s character Donny plays a bisexual man, has been criticized for its depiction of queerness as an effect of sexual abuse. Others have lauded it for its portrayal of nuanced bisexual and transgender characters.

Besides her role in Baby Reindeer, Gunning acted in the Channel 4 comedy Back and in 2021 appeared as Diane Pemberley in BBC One’s The Outlaws.

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