On September 12, at a black tie gala of over 850 people, The Young and the Restless' Thom Bierdz received an award from the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Visibility Award. The award was bestowed on the Y&R star for his human rights work on behalf of the mentally ill.
During his acceptance speech, Thom said that he shareed the honor with The Young and the Restless' head writer Maria Arena Bell and producer Josh O'Connell, for their courage to write Phillip Chancellor III as a multi-dimensional gay man cultivating important relationships within his family, and for telling important new storylines that have not been seen before.
"I am so excited to be so respected by a group that cares so much for equality," Bierdz said. "This means more to me than any award I have gotten."
Bierdz returned to The Young and the Restless earlier this year after having last appeared on the top-rated CBS soap in 2004 -- as a ghost. His on-screen alter ego, Phillip Chancellor III, was believed to have been killed in a drunk-driving accident back in 1989.