Baby Reindeer Star Jessica Gunning Comes Out Publicly

Baby Reindeer Star Jessica Gunning Comes Out Publicly
Image: Image: IMDB

Jessica Gunning, the British actress known for her recent breakthrough role in Netflix’s thriller-comedy series Baby Reindeer, has publicly come out as gay.

In a candid conversation with journalist Josh Rein on his podcast Reign with Josh Smith, Gunning shared her personal journey, marking Pride Month with an inspiring coming-out story.

Jessica Gunning on coming out

“I came out in November 2022. And that was a mega, mega thing for me,” Gunning told Rein.

Gunning, who is 38, expressed how liberating it is to live authentically: “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.”

Reflecting on her journey, she admitted, “I still can’t articulate it in the best way. 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.”

Gunning’s realisation of her sexuality was not an overnight revelation.

She recalled pivotal moments in her career, such as starring alongside Cate Blanchett in the National Theatre production of When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other in 2019, where she had to kiss Blanchett.

Additionally, her role in the 2014 film Pride, which chronicled the true story of LGBTQ+ activists supporting the miners’ strike, had been significant in her journey.

Discussing her feelings before coming out, Gunning said, “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.”

Baby Reindeer

Baby Reindeer which saw Gunning shoot to international fame overnight has been praised for its authentic representation of queer talent.

The show, written by and starring LGBTQIA+ comedian Richard Gadd, is based on his real-life experience with a stalker named “Martha,” portrayed by Gunning.

Gadd, depicted as comedian Donny Dunn in the series, endures persistent stalking from Martha, leading to a physical attack on his trans girlfriend Teri, played by trans actress Nava Mau.

However, the alleged real-life counterpart of Gunning’s character, Fiona Harvey, has come forward with significant legal challenges.

Identifying herself after the series aired, Harvey has threatened to sue Gadd and Netflix. Harvey vehemently denies the events depicted in the show, asserting that she has never been a “convicted stalker” as the series suggests.

Harvey, speaking on Piers Morgan Uncensored, stated, “I have no doubt that the character of ‘Martha’ in Baby Reindeer was intended to be a portrayal of me.”

“The problem for Richard Gadd and now for Netflix is that Baby Reindeer is not a true story at all.”

She added, “I am not a ‘convicted stalker.’ I have never been charged with any crime, let alone been convicted, still less pleaded guilty and of course I have never been to prison for anything.”

The controversy surrounding the series adds a complex layer to Gunning’s compelling performance, as she continues to shine both professionally and personally.

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