Baby Reindeer star Jessica Gunning comes out as "big old gay" in heartfelt interview

The breakout Netflix star said her gay awakening began when she was lucky enough to kiss Cate Blanchette on stage.

Photo of Baby Reindeer actor Jessica Gunning smiling in a sparkly dress, she recently came out as gay.

Jessica Gunning, the breakout star of the latest Netflix hit Baby Reindeer, has come out as gay in a recent interview. Gunning spoke about her sexuality publicly for the first time during a Reign with Josh Smith podcast episode.

On the podcast, in addition to describing her relatable memories of watching The L Word, Jessica described her gay awakening as a process that began when she was lucky enough to kiss Cate Blanchette during a National Theatre production.

Looking back at those nightly on-stage kisses during When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, Gunning said: “I should have known then.”


The Baby Reindeer star came out to her family and friends as gay in November 2022. She explained that while many of her friends are queer, for a long time, she didn’t think she could be.

While she said she always felt different, she wondered if that feeling had to do with her body size, and she didn’t attribute the difference to her sexuality for years, until she finally realised she was: “a big, old gay.”

She said the realisation was “the most liberating thing” and a “massive moment where everything kind of clicked and I made sense of myself.”

Since coming out publicly, Gunning said: “It’s been amazing, and very freeing and very grounding. I feel like really peaceful actually.”


Gunning is best known for her role in Baby Reindeer, a psychological thriller about a middle-aged woman stalker based on real-life events experienced by the show’s creator, Richard Gadd.

In the show, Jessica plays the main character, Martha, who stalks a male comedian named Donny, played by Richard Gadd himself.

Gadd’s character is a bisexual man, and the show has been praised for its nuanced portrayal of bisexual and transgender characters. The series has also been criticised by some for its attempt to connect Donny’s queer identity to sexual abuse.

In addition to her role as Martha in Baby Reindeer, Gunning starred in the Channel 4 comedy Back and as Diane Pemberley in BBC One’s The Outlaws. She also starred in the 2014 film Pride which tells the story of a group of queer activists who helped the miners during their 1980s strike.

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