Young & Restless Fans Share Their Feelings About Christian Jules LeBlanc’s Coming Out: ‘This Blew Me Away’
The Daytime Emmy winner’s June 21 appearance on State of Mind marked the first time that most — perhaps even any? — of the soap’s viewers heard him refer to himself as a gay man.
When Young & Restless vet Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael) told General Hospital star and State of Mind host Maurice Benard (Sonny) that even in 2021, he didn’t feel comfortable publicly holding the hand of his husband of nearly 30 years, fans reacted in general in two parts. First came surprise.
“Of all the things I have read over the years — and I even follow [LeBlanc] on social media — I never knew he was gay!” Kelli White Humes exclaimed on Soaps.com’s Facebook page.
Kelly F. Olmstead was similarly stunned, writing, “This blew me away. I’ve been watching The Young and the Restless for over 30 years and never would have thought this.”
I didn't even know he was gay! I am shocked! Not because he is gay, but that I didn't know it. 😜
— Scorpio girl (@ForOcean) June 24, 2021
In post after post, viewers expressed their shock. But as in the dark as they may have been, they were also glad that the actor brought to light this part of himself. “I am so happy after all of these years he can be true to himself,” Jodi Myers Harmon Facebooked, “and proud of who he is.”
“Kudos for coming out!” cheered Maria Nunez.
Among the well wishers were many who felt bad that LeBlanc wouldn’t hold his partner’s hand in public (and not only because they aren’t big PDA people). “It makes me sad that people are judged by who they love,” said Angela Wilson. LeBlanc is “a good actor and more than likely… a great person!
“All I can say,” she added, “is, Christian, you better hold that man’s hand, hun! Let ’em look!”
I am so sorry you have to live in a society that doesn’t embrace all individuals. ❤️🙏
— Vicki Knowles (@vickieknowles) June 23, 2021
Christine Teetsel seconded that emotion, writing, “I hate that he and so many others don’t feel safe enough to completely live their truth.
“We are far ahead of where we once were,” she continued, “but clearly still have a long way to go!”
Before you bop along to read another article, check out the below photo gallery, which counts down the 25 most memorable Young & Restless characters of all time.
<p>Somewhere, Bette Davis is gnashing her teeth over the fact that she never got to play Michael and Kevin’s mother — and Joan Van Ark is facepalming, having <em>abandoned</em> the role of the femme fatale whose sex appeal is second only to her wicked wit.</p>
<p>Rock on? Don’t mind if we do! Michael Damian’s character was exactly the sort of larger-than-life character that turned viewers of<em> The Young and the Restless</em> into <em>The Enraptured and Addicted.</em></p>
<p>Passion’s plaything. Daddy’s girl. Boss lady. Whatever you choose to call Victoria, from Heather Tom to Amelia Heinle, she’s always been front and center, a lightning rod for electric storylines.</p>
<p>The antithesis of the character at No. 21, this manipulative monster enjoyed a reign of terror that didn’t end until he made the mistake — the hilariously <em>appropriate</em> mistake! — of trying to avoid his comeuppance by hiding in a garbage compactor and giving “trashed” a whole new meaning!</p>
<p>What’s that, you say? Traci’s not exciting? Nothing happens to Traci? She doesn’t even have a love interest? Traci, friends, is <em>us</em>. Beth Maitland’s character is the voice of reason to which no one listens, the well-adjusted personality we should all aspire to be. Also, we couldn’t freaking adore her more.</p>
<p>Good and bad have no meaning, really, for Victor’s younger son. As a result, whether he’s been played by Michael Muhney, Justin Hartley or Mark Grossman, we’ve been riveted, poised on the fine line between rooting for and against the schemer.</p>
<p>Is Christian Jules LeBlanc’s character the delusional sicko who once burrowed through Christine’s wall to attack her… or the devoted husband who’s earned Lauren’s devotion? He’s both, actually, which is what makes him so fascinating.</p>
<p>Jane Austen only <em>wished</em> she’d ever dreamt up a heroine as compelling as Eileen Davidson’s Jabot chemist, a strong-willed protagonist whose luck in love should have convinced her to steer clear of Las Vegas for… frankly, ever!</p>
<p>Slap whatever label you want on Don Diamont’s pre-<em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> character. Heartthrob. Himbo. Heel. You name it. We still hung on his every word — and assumed that the sometime lawn boy’s handling of shrubbery had rightly earned him his accolades as one of the world’s best… er, gardeners.</p>
<p>A dreamboat run ashore, Joshua Morrow’s on-screen persona is the hero in every romance novel… crossed with the mistake that every woman has ever warned a gal pal against making. Of note, no one has <em>ever</em> listened to the warnings. Also of note, yeah, we get it. Even now, we fall for Nick over and over again.</p>
<p>A mean girl way before there even was such a thing, Tracey E. Bregman’s impetuous character hasn’t softened over the years so much as she’s grown, into a savvy businesswoman who, thankfully, has retained her sense of playfulness and mischief.</p>
<p>Whether on cold medicine or not, we couldn’t blame the character at No. 6 for enthusiastically “mistaking” Shemar Moore for her husband, Neil. For the duration of the Daytime Emmy winner’s run on the show — and even now, come to think of it — we’d have done/would do the same. Eagerly.</p>
<p>For nearly a decade, Jaime Lyn Bauer put the “super” in “supervixen,” crafting a calculating character from whom you couldn’t look away… and <em>at</em> whom you all too often wanted to direct a backhand. She was, to put it mildly, something.</p>
<p>The first in a long, long line of playboys on <em>The Young and the Restless</em>, this med student — most famously played by The Hoff — could have coined the term “playing doctor.” In addition, throughout the 1970s, he was the Rx for any and every storyline lull.</p>
<p><em>The Perils of Pauline</em> got nothin’ on <em>The Travails of Sharon</em>, a hard-luck heroine whose good fortune seemed to end with the discovery of the right actress to play the part (Sharon Case, on try No. 3). Since then, she’s been cheated on, divorced, assaulted, imprisoned, diagnosed as bipolar and taken too deeply into our hearts to ever be removed. (Also, don’t try.)</p>
<p>The late Kristoff St. John’s alter ego was sometimes led by his zipper, it’s true. But in every other regard, he was our touchstone, our go-to. Neil was slighted time and again at the office — Victor, Victor, Victor! — yet in our minds, he’d long ago been promoted to the post of Character to Whom We Most Related. Now, sadly, he’s also among the Characters We Miss the Most.</p>
<p>A hurricane in high heels, this pot-stirrer makes every scene more exciting simply by walking into it. Yes, there’s a price to pay — oy, the miles of carnage in her wake! But to paraphrase Jessica Rabbit, the infamous strumpet brought to life by Michelle Stafford isn’t bad, she’s just drawn that way. And whatever way she goes, so do we — helplessly!</p>
<p>How ironic — and perfect — that the onetime manicurist would become infamous for her talons! The mercurial mantrap (played first by Brenda Dickson and longest by Jess Walton) sank her insatiable claws into one unsuspecting fella after another, in the process earning herself a reputation — since mellowed — as Genoa City’s resident queen of mean.</p>
<p>There’s a good reason that everyone from Eric Braeden (Victor) to, um, the entire audience is always calling for Doug Davidson to get more screentime — and it ain’t just nostalgia: We all watched the Emmy winner grow up as Paul, a beach bum — emphasis on the “bum”! — who became the kind of do-right guy that any man would want to be and any woman would want to have.</p>
<p>We know that Victoria Rowell’s history with <em>The Young and the Restless</em> is one that perhaps both she and the sudser would like to forget. But we just can’t. Her feisty character was the concentrate from which spitfires are made, the rare force of nature who could lay waste to a room without ever spilling a drop of champagne — unless she was throwing it in someone’s face!</p>
<p>They broke the mold when they made “Evil Nurse Sheila” — and thank heavens they did! Kimberlin Brown’s baby-swapping man-stealer was so rotten to the core that she couldn’t be contained by one soap opera; nope, the lovelorn psycho crossed over to sister show <em>The Bold and the Beautiful</em> and wound up being killed off more often than nemesis Lauren Fenmore’s been married!</p>
<p>The loverboy who’s worked so hard to fill father John’s shoes — as well as so many a lady’s bed! — may never best his rival at No. 2 on this list. Nonetheless, Peter Bergman’s alter ego (originally played by Terry Lester) remains a vital part of the Genoa City landscape, a natural born Casanova who has no equal. A doppelganger, yes — right, Marco? — but an equal? No.</p>
<p>Melody Thomas Scott’s character practically defines the term “rags to riches”… except for the fact that when she caught the eye of the character at No. 2, the then-stripper from the wrong side of the tracks was wearing <em>less</em> than rags. We also can’t resist the fact that, while snobbish Nikki isn’t to the manor born, she certainly acts like she’s for the manor made.</p>
<p>You know you’ve reached the status of icon when your mustache has a space reserved for it at the Smithsonian. Then again, you also have a pretty good hunch that you’re the stuff of legend when, as Eric Braeden’s womanizing character has (well, <em>should</em> have), you have a former-wives wing at the American Museum of Natural History that rivals Henry VIII’s.</p>
<p>Who on earth could <em>possibly</em> outrank the undisputed king of Genoa City? The late, great Jeanne Cooper’s beloved Mommy Warbucks, that’s who. A rare gem, the so-called Duchess was a fabulously flawed individual who was fated to follow her heart… even when that foolish organ convinced her that it was a great idea to drive over a cliff with her estranged husband in tow!</p>
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