Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-09-18
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



BOOKS Thom Bierdz talks about sex, and a lot more, In 'Young, Gay & Restless'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

In Young, Gay & Restless: My Scandalous On-Screen & Off-Screen Sexual Liberations, Thom Bierdz—an actor/artist/advocate who is probably best known for portraying heir Phillip Chancellor III on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless—literally lets it all hang out, as the saying goes.

Yes, Bierdz talks about everything from past relationships to even his thoughts about his parents in detail that is sometimes sexually graphic, and he even includes nude photos of himself. ( This writer has never seen so many euphemisms for genitalia, by the way; it was a lesson in linguistics. ) However, it's also the journey of someone who has found his way to sexual liberation—and the book might impart lessons to readers about losing their own restrictions, whether imposed by self and/or society.

Windy City Times: So, congratulations on the book.

Thom Bierdz: Thanks! You can see how much freedom comes from that, right?

WCT: Yes. I was thinking it had to be very cathartic to write it.

TB: Yeah. But to get to that point, it was like, "I'm not trying to fit into Hollywood anymore." Few people can live alone in the woods and not be concerned about what their partners are going to say or what their kids are going to say.

WCT: Why did you feel you had to write this now?

TB: Good question. I didn't feel I had to write it now; it just happened. A couple years ago, people were really talking if Trump committed sexual assault and I wrote on Facebook that I thought I had been sexually assaulted several times [by others], and other men wrote about their experiences—and I was compiling a book on sexual assaults of men, which I also have.

So that's how this started. I started writing more about myself and going back to childhood—and it turned out to be 400 pages. It wasn't planned; it just organically happened.

WCT: Have you gotten feedback from people who are mentioned in this book?

TB: I tried to reach out to the people I mention by name, and I couldn't find them all. What's interesting, though, is that not everyone has the same memories. For instance, there's the photographer Greg Gorman; I pretty much say nice things about him. But when I say that my manager told me that Greg said [of me], "T.J.'s no mental giant," he was offended, [adding,] "I never said that." But this was so long ago.

I tried to avoid hurting people's feelings, so the people I had to speak negatively about, I changed their names.

WCT: Like the photographer "L"… [In the book, Bierdz says that L may have sexually assaulted him.]

TB: Yes.

WCT: When I thought I couldn't be any more surprised, there would be another. But the book isn't just sex; you talk about your family [and other very personal aspects]. What was the most difficult part of this book for you to write?

TB: Well, I think the chronology always gets me. But there were no parts that had me crying as I was writing them. Regarding sex, I think it was more amusing than anything else. I hope people stop pointing fingers and saying, "You're naughty, and you're naughty. You shouldn't have had that sexual fantasy." I think we should just stay away from hurting people.

WCT: I agree. And the reader sees your maturation throughout the book. What would you tell 20-year-old Thom about life?

TB: Hmmm… Probably not to push as much and to look for balance—which I still have to learn. I had problems with Amazon KDP [Kindle Direct Publishing] publishing another book of mine. I'm not the type to stop after calling for four hours and being put on hold; I can't sleep. But you don't get answers that way, so [stop pushing] is what I'd tell young Thom.

WCT: And would 20-year-old Thom listen?

TB: [Laughs] Probably not… Other people tried to tell me that. And what would you tell 20-year-old Andrew?

WCT: I would tell him to just roll with the punches, and that everything works out eventually. Moving on, what do you think your mother's reaction to this book would be? [Note: Bierdz's mother was killed in 1989.]

TB: I never thought about that, but I don't think she'd have a problem with it. I don't know. She didn't seem too puritanical way back then, but I don't think she'd want to read it. My dad and my sister don't want to read it.

WCT: Your mother didn't seem that [puritanical]. In the book, you said she went with you to a few gay bars.

TB: Yeah.

WCT: It was eye-opening when you said in the book that you bumped into someone at a bar who turned out to be [serial killer] Jeffrey Dahmer.

TB: Right. You're from the area, right?

WCT: I'm strictly Chicago. [Bierdz grew up in Wisconsin.] However, a friend and I were at the L&L Tavern a little while ago; we looked up its history, and it turned out that Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy supposedly frequented this spot.

TB: Wow… You never know how many serial killers we pass.

And it shows my character back then, because… Well, I joke about it, but I went home with a lot of guys—not just for sex, but also for career [networking], like the guy I mentioned who I played pool with for hours; there was nothing untoward about that. And there was the guy I went home with from the grocery store who invited me to join his sex family. I was 21 at the time, and I considered it. And there was the gym sex—this is stuff that actors don't share.

WCT: That's true. Are you worried that you've burned any bridges with this book?

TB: I don't think so. I don't know. Again, my intent is to live artist and pay rent and do what I do. I have several books and paintings going, so it's not like I'm trying to fit in. For so long, I tried to fit in; I tried to be that Don Diamont or any of a number of other soap stars.

WCT: Let's talk about your [current] neighbor Mary, an older woman. Why did you include her in your book?

TB: I just let the book happen. She just turned out to be someone I've interacted with for the past couple years. Mary is a way to show how Thom has interacted with people. Also, I'm a mental hoarder while she's a literal one.

WCT: We get to know Mary well. She said she was also a victim of sexual assault.

TB: Right. Her parents weren't nice to her, and I see she's still dealing with stuff.

WCT: This book is refreshingly candid…

TB: I'm pleased that you got that.

WCT: …and I think there are some people who might have Thom confused with Phillip Chancellor III [who was also revealed to be gay].

TB: Right. I got a horrible book review from one of my Facebook friends because of that. He went on and on and on, and expected me to be Phillip Chancellor. Oh, well. It's really not my problem.

WCT: With everything that's in the book, what do you want readers to take away?

TB: I'd like them to stop repressing others for their sexual thoughts—which is why I brought up incest. I'm not around my relatives; it's not an uncomfortable issue. I think repression is awful—not just in the personal arena, but in the political one as well, and everywhere. It's silly to attack people because they're naughty.

Young, Gay & Restless: My Scandalous On-Screen & Off-Screen Sexual Liberations is available on Amazon.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Gerber/Hart benefit brings awareness of Midwest LGBTQ history 2019-09-22 - Gerber/Hart Library and Archives is an open book when it comes to Midwest LGBTQ history and culture—and its benefit, "Out of the Closets ...

Gay News

Second City kicks off 60th with a new book, special events 2019-09-19 - CHICAGO, IL - ( September 19, 2019 ) The Second City turns sixty on December 16, but the celebration kicks off this month ...

Gay News

BOOKS Former NFL player talks football, politics and Madonna 2019-09-18 - Ryan O'Callaghan made headlines two years ago when the former NFL defensive tackle came out as gay, making him one of the league's ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Sage Sapien, From Karma to Dharma 2019-09-17 - By Johnson Chong, $24.95; Koehler Books; 172 pages It's never clear who exactly Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma is for. ...

Gay News

Michael Carroll's Stella Maris And Other Key West Stories vicious, slippery, fun 2019-09-17 - Cuban fisherman relied on the Key West lighthouse called Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, as their beacon. Now short story enthusiasts can ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Taken by the Wind 2019-09-17 - By Ellen Hart, $25.99; Minotaur Books; 320 pages Your bag was packed. There wasn't much in it except for the necessities: ...

Gay News

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor talks new children's book at W&CF event 2019-09-12 - Women & Children First hosted a reading and conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor about her new children's book—Just Ask!: Be ...

Gay News

James Baldwin Residence added to National Register of Historic Places 2019-09-12 - NEW YORK, NY — September 12, 2019 — The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is extremely pleased to share the news that the ...

Gay News

Bob Satawake talks debut book, career path, ambassador husband 2019-09-08 - When Bob Satawake arrived in the Dominican Republic in 2013 alongside his newly appointed U.S. ambassador husband Wally Brewster, his life changed forever. ...

Gay News

Comic Con dazzles with stars, cosplay 2019-09-03 - Thousands of pop-culture aficionados ( many donning the costumes of their favorite characters ) visited Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Convention Center on ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.