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Dickinson's Ella Hunt Comes Out as Queer in 'Attitude' and Identity

Dickinson's Ella Hunt Comes Out as Queer in 'Attitude' and Identity

Ella Hunt

"i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women."

A star of Dickinson has come out as queer.

In an interview with Square Mile, Ella Hunt (Anna and the Apocalypse) detailed how her experience working on the Apple TV+ series, which features Hailee Steinfeld as the poet Emily Dickinson, sparked an inner journey toward her coming-out. Created by Alena Smith, the show queers an American figure who was often straight-washed throughout history.

"It's taken me moving to New York and shooting a queer, female-driven show to take pride in the bizarre sides of myself, the sides of myself that I love the most and make me feel most true to who I was as a small child," Hunt said. "Maybe that combination of being away from England and working on a show about a female poet who wasn't understood in her time, such an outwardly queer show that glorifies queerdom, made it less scary to enjoy those elements in myself and explore it in a way that I might not have done if I hadn't got the show."

"I love the term queer," she elaborated. "I don't think it is specifically about sexuality, I see it as a mindset and feeling empowered in the bizarre and the strange sides of myself. I think queer is a beautiful word in that sense. It's an attitude. That's how I identify to my friends in New York."

On Twitter, a fan challenged Hunt's definition of queer as "an attitude." In response, Hunt clarified, "I am queer and I am happy to be open about it." She added, "I just get all kinds of nervous and fumbly in interviews sometimes."

In another tweet that could be read as poetry itself, Hunt declared, "i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love women i love."

In Dickinson, Hunt portrays Sue Gilbert, a real-life figure who became Dickinson's sister-in-law and one of her dearest friends. Although the series takes liberty with facts, the women expressed a passion for each other through letters that many scholars have interpreted as romantic. The film Wild Nights With Emily, starring Molly Shannon, also portrays the pair as lovers.

(Related: Dickinson Liberates the Queerness of Emily -- and Its Audience)

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