Mary Wiseman made her debut in the Star Trek universe in the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery. Way back then, her character, Sylvia Tilly, was just a lowly cadet. Over the past three seasons, fans have watched Tilly grow into a self-assured, resourceful Starfleet officer, interim first officer, and even an acting captain.
Fans have also watched Wiseman herself grow as an actor and a person. Fans had probably never heard her name before she made her Star Trek debut. Before starring on the show, Wiseman was primarily a stage actor, starring in off-Broadway and Broadway productions. Now, Trekkies all over the world know her name and tidbits of her story, and they’re learning more about her each time they hear from her.
In her latest interview with StarTrek.com, Wiseman made another revelation about her personal life that she insists is “not a big deal at all.” However, fans of the actress may not see it that way.
Wiseman is ‘Queer and Proud’
During her last interview with StarTrek.com, as seen above, Wiseman and the interviewer, Dawn Ennis, had some technical difficulties. At one point during their conversation, Ennis asked Wiseman about the LGBTQ+ representation on Discovery. The audio cut out as Wiseman started to respond, so her answer wasn’t heard.
However, an eagle-eyed, lip-reading fan who watched the video reached out to Ennis to say that they thought Wiseman had said “I’m not straight” in response to Ennis’ question. The fan asked Ennis if she’d follow up with Wiseman about it during their next interview. If she did, in fact, say that it would be Wiseman’s first time talking about her queer identity in an interview.
So, Ennis posed the question via a direct message on Twitter. Wiseman confirmed that she was saying that she wasn’t straight in their December interview.
“I just didn’t want to say I’m straight when I’m not!” Wiseman explained. “Before Noah, I dated and loved people of all genders.”
She also gave some details about why she hasn’t talked much about her sexuality in the press.
“I never liked it when straight-presenting women dominated conversations about bisexuality/pansexuality when I was with women, so I try not to do it now, but I also don’t want it to feel like I’m hiding anything because I’m queer and proud!”
According to Bi.org, queer folks who are in opposite-gender relationships often have their queerness erased because people assume they’re heterosexual based on their relationship status. As a woman married to a man, Wiseman’s queerness wasn’t as visible as the queerness of some of her costars like Adam Rapp and Wilson Cruz. However, as she made clear in the interview, it’s important to her that her queerness is known, which is why she confirmed it explicitly.
Wiseman Married her College Sweetheart
Perhaps the main reason Wiseman’s sexuality hasn’t been in the headlines is that she’s been with her partner, Noah Averbach-Katz, since before her name was in the headlines. According to Trek Report, Wiseman and Averbach-Katz met at Juilliard, where they were both in the same class.
They began dating in 2013, while they were still at Juilliard. The two dated for five years before getting engaged in 2018. After spending six years together, the couple finally tied the knot in February of 2019.
Averbach-Katz Helped her Land the Role on ‘Discovery’
During an interview with Forbes last year, Wiseman revealed that her husband helped her nail her audition for Star Trek: Discovery. Averbach-Katz is a lifelong Trek fan. His parents were original Trekkies in the 1970s, and they raised him on all the Star Trek shows.
So, when Wiseman said she was auditioning for Discovery, Averbach-Katz gave her a crash course on the Star Trek universe. He coached her on all the technical terms and Star Trek history. He even dressed her for the audition!
This year, Averbach-Katz got to live his dream when he landed a recurring role on the show as well. He portrayed the Andorian, Ryn, who became a regular fixture on the show until his unfortunate exit in the penultimate episode of season three.
Wiseman’s casual coming out adds one more queer actor to the already massive list of queer actors on Discovery, so she’s in good company.