Emily Coutts says Star Trek helped her come out as queer

Star Trek: Discovery actress Emily Coutts opens up about her coming-out journey

Emily Coutts reveals how Star Trek Discovery helped her come out as queer

Star Trek: Discovery played a huge part in Emily Coutts’ coming-out journey.

In a new interview with Out Magazine, Coutts shared how the Paramount+ series helped her fully come out as queer. The actress, who plays bridge officer and pilot Keyla Detmer in Star Trek: Discovery, revealed to the publication that she found herself crying in her car after reading the script for the show’s season 2 finale.

In the episode, titled Such Sweet Sorrow, the USS Discovery crew decided to join Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) in traveling to the future, ultimately choosing to leave the life they knew in order to advance the greater good. According to Coutts, that particular moment coincided with what she was personally going through at the time, and the crew members’ decision to take the leap inspired her to do the same in real life.

“This is where I’m at in my life right now,” Coutts said of how she reacted to the script. “I can stay where things are comfortable. Or I can go and grow into my full self, and really come out, and tell everyone, and celebrate that, and go to the future, whatever that holds.”

Coutts made it clear that the script didn’t make her realize that she was queer, as she had started discovering that aspect of herself several years before. “It was more that when I read it, I was inspired to be brave enough to finally come out, and tell people that I was gay, and trust that my future would be a beautiful thing if I was living openly and freely,” explained the Canadian native. “I’m really grateful for that experience and proud of myself for taking the leap.”

Behind the scenes, the Star Trek: Discovery cast and crew welcomed Coutts “with loving arms” after she came out to them. By 2019, when season 2 of the show premiered, she had come out to her friends, family, and the world, despite not having a formal “coming-out” statement.

“I think being surrounded by so many queer castmates and having [out writer] Michelle Paradise be [co-]showrunner — it felt very accepting and loving,” Coutts said. “To be able to go to your work and tell everyone that you’re coming out is a gift and a privilege that I got to have.”

Coutts’ Star Trek: Discover co-stars Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), Wilson Cruz (Hugh Culber), and Tig Notaro (Jett Reno) are all openly gay. Rapp’s Stamets and Cruz’s Culber are the first openly gay characters in a Star Trek TV series, as well as the first to be in a same-sex marriage. Notaro’s Reno, meanwhile, mentioned in the show’s season 2 that she was married, but her wife died in a war.

Additionally, Blu del Barrio, who plays the non-binary character Adira Tal in the show, is non-binary in real life. Also, Barrio’s onscreen partner, Ian Alexander, who portrays Gray Tal, came out as transgender back in 2014.

Though now an out actor, Coutts admitted that she does not closely identify with a particular label. “I use a lot of them interchangeably,” she said of gay, queer, and bi terminologies. Nevertheless, Coutts now feels free to share her queer life in public and on social media. In fact, she took to Instagram in August 2020 to announce that she was “marrying a real-life mermaid.” That real-life mermaid is documentary producer Lexy Altman, whom Coutts met on the dating app Hinge.

Who is Emily Coutts?

Coutts is a Canadian actress. She attended York University where she earned a degree in BFA Acting in 2011.

In an interview in 2017, Coutts revealed the most valuable thing she learned while studying theater at York University. “You need to create your own work. I always heard that throughout York but it wasn’t until I left that that really started to make sense,” she said. “Working as an actor is such an awesome career but it isn’t consistent and can be really challenging to one’s self-esteem. Creating my own projects has given me confidence and has inspired me to continue learning and expanding my craft. Collaboration is one of the most fulfilling things as an artist and watching something you created get made, whether on stage or on film, is an amazing feeling. There’s power in creation. There’s power in perspective and style.”

Coutts made her first movie appearance in the 2011 mystery thriller The Bright Side of the Moon, in which she played the role of an anchor. Her other feature film credits include the 2015 horror drama Crimson Peak, the 2015 comedy-drama Barn Wedding, and the 2019 drama Goliath.

Coutts starred as Emma in Barn Wedding, which she also co-wrote and co-produced. Barn Wedding was directed by Shaun Benson, who is also an actor.

Emily Coutts as Emma in Barn Wedding
Emily Coutts as Emma in Barn Wedding

Coutts also appeared in several short films including Bullet-Headed (2014), Satisfaction (2015), Cherry (2016), Come Back (2017), and Dear Jesus (2020), which she also wrote and produced.

Prior to being cast in Star Trek: Discovery, Coutts guest-starred in a number of Canadian TV series, including The L.A. Complex (2012), Transporter: The Series (2012), Dark Matter (2016), and Murdoch Mysteries (2013-2017), among many others. In Murdoch Mysteries, the actress portrayed two different roles. She played a typist in her first appearance in the show and portrayed the role of Camila Morse in her second outing.

After making her debut in Star Trek: Discovery, Coutts has begun appearing in more American TV series, including ABC and Netflix’s Designated Survivor (2018) and the crime drama TV series Clarice (2021) from CBS. She also became part of the voice cast of the Canadian animated TV series Glowbies (2021).

How old is Emily Coutts?

Coutts is currently 33 years old. She was born on July 4th, 1989 in Canada and lived most of her younger years in Toronto. Details about her family, including her dad’s and mom’s names are not public knowledge.

Is Emily Coutts LGBT?

Yes, Emily Coutts is LGBT. As reported above, the actress finally had the courage to come out as queer after reading the script for the season 2 finale of Star Trek: Discovery. By 2019, when season 2 of the show premiered, she had come out to her friends, family, and the world, despite not having a formal “coming-out” statement.

Coutts does not closely identify with a particular label, but she admitted that she uses gay, queer, and bi terminologies “interchangeably.”

As previously mentioned, Coutts announced on Instagram in August 2020 that she is engaged to documentary producer Lexy Altman. Coutts and Altman appear to be very private about their personal lives, so it’s unclear whether they have already tied the knot.

While the couple has yet to share whether they have already exchanged “I do’s”, Coutts was sharing photos of their travels on Instagram. Based on the actress’ previous posts, the two had traveled to Mexico, Yosemite National Park in California, and even Rome.

Lexy Altman and Emily Coutts in Rome
Lexy Altman and Emily Coutts in Rome | Credit: Instagram / Emily Coutts

Who is the pilot on Discovery?

Coutt’s Keyla Detmer is the pilot on the USS Discovery. Detmer, who earned her pilot’s license at age 12, served aboard the USS Shenzhou under Captain Philippa Georgiou as the starship’s helmsman in 2256. Six months after the destruction of the Shenzhou, Detmer was promoted from lieutenant junior grade to full lieutenant, and was assigned to serve as helm officer under Captain Gabriel Lorca on Discovery.

Is Keyla Detmer a Borg?

Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer in Star Trek: Discovery
Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer in Star Trek: Discovery

Detmer is not a Borg. She’s a human. Some casual viewers think Detmer is a Borg because the cybernetic implants on the left side of her face look like Seven of Nine’s Borg implants. Detmer started to wear the said cybernetic implants to compensate for injuries she received during the Battle of the Binary Stars.

When will Star Trek: Discovery return?

Star Trek: Discovery season 4 ended its 13-episode run in March 2022. The show’s 10-episode season 5 is set to premiere on Paramount+ in early 2023.

Source: Out Magazine
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