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Bella Ramsey opens up about wearing a binder for '90% time' while filming 'The Last of Us'

She talks about her experience with gender and how she doesn't really care about pronouns but wears a binder to better focus on her work.

Bella Ramsey opens up about wearing a binder for '90% time' while filming 'The Last of Us'
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Frazer Harrison

Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 3, 2023. It has since been updated.

Trans and non-binary people often face challenges that are not visible to the world, like gender dysphoria, transphobia, and mental health challenges that go unrecognized. It becomes extremely crucial to have conversations about these issues and to stress the importance of inclusivity. Bella Ramsey, the young actress who plays Ellie in HBO's "The Last of Us," admitted to a GQ interviewer that she spent most of the first season's filming in a breast binder so that she could focus on her acting, as reported by God Daily Dot.


The actor, who rose to prominence as Lyanna Mormont on "Game of Thrones," came out as non-binary in January and stated that she isn't bothered about pronouns, but has previously consented to she/her pronouns in interviews. Ramsey told GQ contributor Jack King that she wore the binder for 90 percent of her time at work during this time. According to WebMD, chest binding is a process of flattening the chest, and binders are one way to do it. She made it a point to mention that wearing a chest binder so heavily might be problematic, noting that it "probably isn't healthy, like please bind safely."


Chest binders are useful tools for trans people and gender non-conforming people who may suffer from gender dysphoria, but inappropriate usage poses some health hazards. Binders should be used for no more than eight hours a day, and they should be professionally constructed and correctly sized. Otherwise, users risk skin irritation, breathing difficulties, overheating, and possibly rib bruising or fracture. While Ramsey came out as non-binary in a New York Times feature, she seems to be exploring what that means to her, and she isn't especially enamored with any single label.


She said, "I guess my gender has always been very fluid. Someone would call me ‘she’ or ‘her,’ and I wouldn’t think about it, but I knew that if someone called me ‘he’ it was a bit exciting. I’m very much just a person. Being gendered isn’t something that I particularly like, but in terms of pronouns, I really couldn’t care less." Ramsey loved embracing her feminine side in the historical drama series "Becoming Elizabeth," where she got to wear a corset, despite the fact that she dislikes being referred to as a "young woman" or "lady." 

She said, "Young Elizabeth, I was in a corset. And I felt super powerful in that. Playing these more feminine characters is a chance to be something so opposite to myself, and it’s really fun." For many of her admirers, the most thrilling aspect of the interview was learning that Pedro Pascal, her co-star in the zombie apocalypse series, has been "super supportive" of her gender search, adding that his sister is transgender. As a result, the couple has had countless chats about the subject, as well as about sexuality. Ramsey said, "And they weren’t always deep they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum. We were just very honest and open with each other." 

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