Having been able to play opposite three female dynamos of Y&R after 20 years (although only for six months) -- Jeanne Cooper (Katherine), Jess Walton (Jill), and Tricia Cast (Nina) -- was a very positive experience for Bierdz and he wants everyone to know how accepting the trio is.

“Jeanne Cooper has been so cool about gay people and has forever. Jess Walton has a lot of gay friends and is very into spirituality like I am. She is a cool lady. Tricia Cast is the coolest, and to have those women support me has been tremendous. I want to acknowledge them because they are so gay-friendly. Everybody has been great, even Eric Braeden (Victor) has been so gay-accepting, and it’s been great. Personally, everyone could not have been more wonderful, but we will see what the business behind that feels!”

And what of getting to play Dad to soap stud John Driscoll’s Chance? Bierdz says it had its difficulties. “He is a very sweet guy. It was disconcerting to have some 28-year-old straight guy playing your son in a hospital bed, and going, ‘My baby. I am here for you.’ John Driscoll is a great son to have for a gay guy!” [Laughs]

Soap Stars Lend Their Support on AIDS Walk Los Angeles Weekend

In addition to Bierdz, several other soap notables chatted with me at the Poz event about the continued fight for funds and research for HIV/AIDS. Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) of General Hospital had this to say: “The first point that comes to my mind is that what is asked of us soap actors at an event like this is so minuscule. I mean, could you not come out and have a couple of drinks with some nice people? I mean, how in the world could you decide not to come? And of course, I have had some dear friends that I have lost to the disease, and it’s heartbreaking. It’s not necessarily getting the same kind of public attention it used to, because there are drugs that are ameliorating some of the things. But it is still killing people, so it’s not like we can pretend it’s not happening anymore. And whatever I can do to lighten that load and research ways to make that suffering go away world wide, whether its cancer or AIDS, I will show up for and support.”

OLTL’s Ilene Kristen (Roxy) flew in jet-lagged from NYC, but was there to help raise continued awareness. “I lost a lot of friends from the get-go and one of the first friends of mine to die was the stage manager from Grease. Every week for a while I lost a lot of people and I want to support the cause. You know, I have some friends who are living with HIV and doing rather well. I hate to say it, but we need more money and money talks. We need money for research and better drugs and more affordable drugs. Anybody who needs the cocktail should get it and not have to worry about how they are going to get it, or how they are going to pay for it.”

For more on Kristen, Daytime Confidential has a new Q&A with the actress which focuses on Ilene’s music career and One Life’s Roxy Balsom’s budding friendship with the very out Kyle Lewis.

Tags: television