Y&R’s Yani Gellman on Rafe

The Young and the Restless star Yani Gellman visited with The Advocate ‘s Michael Fairman about his role as the show’s first male gay character, Rafe, and teases his storyline.

So many men, so little time … the rumors have been rampant on who will be Rafe’s love interest. Could it be the “straight” and twisted Adam Newman, the incoming John Driscoll as Phillip Chancellor IV, the just-returned Thom Bierdz as Phillip Chancellor III, or someone else?

I am very much an eligible bachelor. The truth is, I don’t know yet who my love interest will be, but I have a couple of people in mind. How’s that? 


11 Responses

  1. Profile photo of ATLn30318

    “According to at least one show snitch, Adam and Rafe’s kiss has more to do with blackmail and buying someone’s silence than it does with homosexuality.”

    With that said, which character initiates the blackmailing here and which character decides to go along with it, or thinks it would be to his advantage or in his best interest to compromise? Is it where Adam somehow convinces Rafe after Rafe comes into knowledge that it’s been Adam all along gas lighting Ashley and the reason why his Aunt Estella is no longer working at the Newman Ranch, that he’d agree to “be with Rafe” to buy his silence? What does that say about Rafe – is he so desperate for the pseudo-affections of Adam that he’d go along with being Adam’s paramour? Given what we know of Rafe’s character, wouldn’t that behavior be uncharacteristic of Rafe?

  2. Profile photo of josser

    BTW, Gellman is a recurring actor on Y&R. If the show had any kind of long term plan for him and his character Rafe, Gellman would be on contract.

  3. Profile photo of ATLn30318

    JossTheGuy – thanks for your well said comments and yes I do remember Scar in the Lion King (voiced by Jeremy Irons).

    I never thought negatively of Chris Engen when we all thought or were lead to believe his “reason” for walking out/away from his contract was b/c he didn’t want to be shown kissing another guy. I for one did not want to see Rafe and Adam go in that direction. I thought why couldn’t there have been some sort of compromise between Chris (the actor) and the writers of how the storyline might have played out between Adam and Rafe w/o the gay subtext. Perhaps Chris being new and all, wasn’t permitted to be as vocal about a storyline as say one of the Vets might have been allowed to. Maybe actors, as a rule, are not permitted to do that and are expected to act out his or her lines/portray a character as it is written. On the other hand, Yani seems to be cool with Rafe being gay and the impending storyline.

    I totally get what you’re saying; it makes an awful lot of sense to me.

  4. Profile photo of valso

    I really like Yani, such a cute guy. His reactions on his role are so refreshing. Seeing in 2009 this latent homophobic behaviour is really a letdown and unacceptable and btw I’m a straight woman.

  5. Profile photo of Pepe1958

    My theory is that Rafe is about to discover something and Adam kisses/seduces him in order to distract him from discovering the truth.

    On the other hand, I’m also wondering if Rafe is playing Adam in return: maybe he’s become suspicious of Adam himself, and goes along with the kiss/seduction in order to find out more.

    Let’s wait and see, shall we.

  6. Profile photo of ATLn30318

    JosstheGuy – no I haven’t seen any interviews with Otalia (Leccia and Chappele) unless it’s been on AfterEllen.com. As of this writing, I haven’t checked. There’s been a lot of press given, it seems, towards their Gay counterparts.

    Pepe1958 – you present an interesting/plausible scenario for Rafe and Adam’s potential lip lock if it transpires. We speculate a lot here and it’s kind of fun to do that.

  7. Profile photo of josser


    This is what has been my one of my issues with the whole idiotic, over blown crap about Chris Engen. All of the screaming of homophobia and denouncing Engen for quitting misses the point of how tacky and stereotypical this story has been on many levels.

    If Rafe keeps quiet, then he’s a weak, pathetic man who allows a pregnant woman to be tortured and permits his elderly aunt to be thrown on the streets. More importantly, Adam becomes just another in a long list of movie queers who do psycho things.

    How often is this cliche used in film? Do you remember “The Lion King”? The film is considered a classic, a classic for using a gay stereotype for the villain Scar who plots and schemes to destroy his rival. Scars queerness is intimated by his effeminacy but the connection between gay and devious cruelty is established.

    All of these people on the web who’ve been screaming as if Chris Engen was the anti-Christ for not wanting to take part in this story didn’t take 2 seconds to think about the storyline and it’s cliched potentially negative portrayal of gays. Most could think about was how horrible Engen was for not wanting to kiss another guy. While others complained of being cheated that they couldn’t see Engen kiss Gelman.

    Both issues are highly problematic.

    First, given that there has never been a long term positive portrayal of an LGBT person on Y&R, this presents gays in a bad light. Furthermore, if rumors that Phillip Chancellor III faked his death because of homosexuality, that only adds to more negativity about gays.

    Secondly, while an audience can expect and appreciate watching actors pretend to live on screen, actors aren’t meat slaves that the audience gets to manipulate to perform to satisfy the audience’s desires against the will of the actors. Actors, as good or bad as they may be, are human beings. Don’t they have a right to say no on how their bodies will be used? The audience doesn’t have the right to expect or demand that actors engage in any sexual activity with which they aren’t comfortable.

    That’s the issue people refuse to deal with. Regardless of whether Engen is a homophobe, he has the right to control how his body is used sexually, a pretend kiss is a kiss. It’s sexual activity. What right do total strangers have to expect and demand that another person perform sexually just because that person is an actor?

    Imagine that nudity were suddenly allowed on broadcast TV. Shortly after the law changed, soaps begin showing nudity. If an actress who had been on contract for TV suddenly received a script demanding that she appeared nude, shouldn’t she have the right to control her own body and say no?

    Because someone signs a contract to perform as an actor, I’d like to think that that person does not relinquish his or her basic human rights. Or, would the audience who desires to see her naked have the right to be angered that she didn’t perform nude because they think her nudity would be hot?

    I would have thought that in 2009, people would have a greater appreciation of the rights people have to control their bodies based on the Women’s movement and feminist theory. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

  8. Profile photo of josser


    Y&R got another actor who can handle the role of Adam. I’m just not into forcing an actor to act out sexually in something he can’t handle. For all we really know of Chris Engen, the guy could be afraid of kissing another guy because he was molested as a kid by a man.

    BTW, have you noticed the obvious sexism that seems to be taking place in the gay media? Yani Gellman is getting interviewed by the Advocate and other publications. Where are the interviews with the Ms. Chappelle and Ms. Leccia who portray GL’s supercouple Otalia? Have you seen a single interview on this site from a gay publication that quotes them? Maybe I missed the interview.

    Maybe sexism isn’t at play in the lack of coverage for Leccia and Chappele, maybe it’s the incompetence of CBS and Telenext publicity departments?

  9. Profile photo of josser


    Why wouldn’t Estella mention the voice recorder to Rafe when explaining her firing? Since Rafe found the voice recorder in Adam’s room, wouldn’t it be easy for him to infer that Adam is the villain?

  10. Profile photo of Pepe1958

    I don’t recall Rafe finding the voice recorder in Adam’s room; he did pick up the box containing the needles/Botox, but never opened it, so was unaware of its contents.

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