Jess Walton, Jeanne Cooper, Thom Bierdz, jill, katherine, phillip, yr, jpi
Credit: Sean Smith/JPI

Jill and Katherine were not amused by Phillip’s reasons for putting them through hell.

Coming out to family is never an easy process. But when you come out 20 years after faking your own death, sending a phony version of yourself to take your place in the family, then returning to essentially yell, “Surprise, it was all a lie!”… Well, that makes things a bit more complicated. But hey, that was the route that The Young and the Restless’ Phillip Chancellor III decided to go when he finally came out to his family on July 13, 2009.

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Phillip had been in Genoa City for a little while by then, having been forced to come back after ex-wife Nina returned to town and began unraveling stand-in Cane’s lies. Phillip came out to her as he tried explaining his actions, and she urged him to tell his family in the hopes of repairing their relationships. He didn’t think it would make much of a difference, but he agreed to give it a try — the day Katherine returned home after the mini-stroke she’d had upon seeing him alive!

Timing, man… Timing!

At first, Phillip insisted nothing he could say would help repair the damage he’d done to his family. His hemming and hawing ticked Katherine off enough for her to tell him that he and his secret could go to hell, which was all it took to get Phillip to angrily blurt out that he’d had to get away because there was no way the Chancellor heir could be gay.

Cue the shocked looks.

“I just don’t understand how this could be,” mom Jill began. But it wasn’t difficulty in accepting him or that he was gay that upset her. “How could you have hidden this from us? Why would you want to?”

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She and Katherine then began to dissect Phillip’s relationships with Nina and old girlfriend Cricket. Sorry, Christine. The “OK, we went there” look on Nina’s face when Phillip confirmed that they did have sex (Chance didn’t just fall out of the sky!) was priceless. But as much as Phillip tried defending his actions and insisting they wouldn’t have accepted him at the time he’d faked his death, Jill and Katherine were not budging.

“For heaven’s sake, Phillip,” Kay chastised him, “we’re not bumpkins, you could have trusted us.” Then she doubled down. “You took the coward’s way out, young man, that’s what you did. And then you compounded it one-hundred times over by sending Cane to take your place!”

None of that mattered, Phillip insisted. Times were different back then, whether they acknowledged it or not. He was lonely, lost and felt trapped. “I couldn’t survive it,” he told them. “As long as I stayed here, I had no life.”

But it seemed none of them were getting through to each other. Exasperated, Katherine turned to Nina to find out what she thought of the whole mess.

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“I’ll throw myself a pity party later,” Nina responded. “Right now we have to deal with this, try and resolve things as best we can.”

But they didn’t resolve anything — at least not that day. Instead, Phillip just walked out without another word. The healing would take time and was less a matter of acceptance than of forgiveness. Eventually, Jill, Katherine, Nina and even Chance would forgive Phillip. And he, in turn would realize that they loved him no matter what.

Of course Phillip is far from the only soap opera character who’s come out as gay. He just seemed to take one of the most difficult paths to get there! But since we’re on the topic, why not take a look back through A to Z’s of how LGBTQ folks have evolved on soaps over the years, with photos from All My Children to Young & Restless!