Yellowstone’s Lilli Kay reveals she made out with real-life partner in ‘very funny’ lesbian kiss scene

A still from Yellowstone showing actor Lilli Kay (L) as Clara kissing her real-life partnerJuli Kocemba during the series' midseason finale. (Paramount)

Last month, hit Western series Yellowstone delighted LGBTQ+ fans by featuring a tender lesbian kiss – and now actor Lilli Kay has spilled the behind-the-scenes tea on that moment.

Kay, who is the daughter of Yellowstone director Stephen Kay, plays Clara Brewer, the assistant to the Dutton family patriarch and new Montana Governor, John (played by Kevin Costner).

The show follows the Dutton family who own the largest cattle ranch in the US. LGBTQ+ representation is practically non-existent, with only two blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments throughout the series that have never been properly addressed.

So when Clara was spotted by viewers making out with what appeared to be another woman in the season 5 midseason finale, it caused quite a stir among fans.

During the episode, John is told by his lover and environmental advisor Summer (Piper Perabo) – Stephen Kay’s wife – that they shouldn’t be schmoozing in public when he points out Clara kissing someone behind them.

That someone turned out to be her real-life partner Juli Kocemba, who identifies as non-binary, and Kay has now explained how they landed the gig.

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“We were in our Covid protocol,” Kay told Deadline. “It was written that Clara is making out with someone in the background behind John and Summer.

“And we were trying to figure out who was easy and comfortable [to cast] who was also in the testing cycle.

“My partner, Juli Kocemba, was there with me in Montana so they said, ‘oh, let’s just have you guys make out in the background.’

“My partner’s non-binary, so we were like, ‘well it’s a gender fluid make-out in the background.’ We thought, nobody’s gonna make a big deal about it. And then a lot of people made a very big deal about it.”

Lilli Kay with partner Juli.

Although there were many viewers who were delighted by the unexpected same-sex kiss, it also managed to enrage conservatives who accused the show of “going woke”.

Kay went on to say that she found the outrage “very funny”, especially because she didn’t expect people to “even catch it”.

“People were like, ‘lesbians on the range!’ But it was a fun little evening. We got to listen to some really good music and hang out and quietly make out in the background. Lesbians on the ranch!”

According to Kay, the impromptu casting choice also made for for an interesting day at work for her father.

“He was really wonderful and great,” she continued.

“It was also the most awkward day for him at work, directing his wife kissing Kevin Costner and his daughter making out with her partner.”

Seasons 1-5 of Yellowstone are available to stream now on Paramount Plus.