Is Ncuti Gatwa Gay? He plays a gay character and refuses to address his real-life sexuality

Ncuti Gatwa seems to get better as Sexual Education progresses. His portrayal of Eric Effiong in seasons 1 and 2 was exceptional, but he just took it to another level in season 3. The show writers did him a solid too, with his trip to Nigeria for a wedding forming one of the most memorable scenes in the third series.

Gatwa laments that people expect him to be Eric in real life. He and Eric share a colorful fashion sense and cheerfulness, but Ncuti insists that they are different people. 

Eric is openly gay, but Gatwa refuses to discuss his sexuality. 

Ncuti declines to address his sexuality but was rumored to be dating Jessica Hardwick

Ncuti Gatwa refuses to address his sexuality in interviews.

He dodged the question during early January 2020 interviews with The Guardian and Independent. Media outlets have seemingly given up on asking about Ncuti’s sexuality. 

His Instagram page doesn’t offer much insight into his personal life or sexuality either. 

However, he is rumored to have dated a lady named Jessica Hardwick. Jessica is a London-based photographer who has worked with various celebrities, including Ncuti.

“Jess made me feel very comfortable and I got a good variety of photos,” Ncuti effused. “I was very happy with the results.”

Gatwa loves how his gay character is portrayed in Sex Education

The first thing we learn about Eric is that he is Otis’ best friend. Then we learn that he is gay; that he has insecurities; that he quarrels with family and religion; that he is imperfect when it comes to relationships – that he is not just a gay character. 

“When we have gay characters on TV, they’re just, kind of, gay for the sake of being gay.,” he told The Independent. “That’s their personality. That’s their whole backstory, that their future, that’s their present story – it’s just gay. Nobody’s just gay. I liked that he had his own story, and his own journey, and his own beginning, middle and end.”

Ncuti feels that the television industry needs to portray more people like Eric. Through the show, many ‘little black boys’ have seen themselves on television and perhaps feel more comfortable about their identities because of it.

“I hope, that other little black boys round the world can be like – ‘Oh, Eric is like this, and it’s cool,” Ncuti told IndieWire. Gatwa told Time Out that his DMs have blown up with emotional stories from people inspired by Eric. “Be whoever you want to be,” Gatwa told the publication. 

He talked to The Guardian about a message that moved him to tears: “This guy, his English was broken, but I got what he was saying. He said, whenever I watch the dance, when you and Otis dance at the end, I can escape my world for 15 minutes. He said, I can go to my dreams.”

Ncuti has defended his gay character’s path in season 3 of Sex Education

Eric’s relationship with Adam in season 3 was a joy to behold until Eric went to Nigeria. Adam feared for Eric’s safety in Nigeria – where being gay is illegal – but his fears were misplaced. Eric was safe – safe in the loving embrace of Oba. 

For the first time in the series, Eric became the target of fan outrage. How could he do this to Adam, a character who’d grown and changed so much for Eric? Gatwa was defiant in his interview with E News!, stating that Eric needed to stop being a people pleaser and gain the courage to follow his path. Ncuti said:

“I think Eric was definitely stifling himself for the purpose of Adam’s growth. So, for me, I would love Eric to find happiness within himself and strength within himself, and know that he doesn’t have to reduce or shrink himself at any point for anyone else’s growth.”

So, is there a future for Adam and Eric? Ncuti isn’t sure, though he says that Eric did love Adam. Gatwa told Variety:

“Who knows what’s in store for Eric and Adam. I don’t know whether that chapter will ever close and I think they’d be so great for each other, but I think they both made each other realize great things. They see themselves in a very true way.”