We Are Gay UK

Ryan O’Connell: “Being gay, in a weird way, is more understood than being disabled”


The Special star spoke out about how many TV networks just couldn’t get their heads around a TV show where the main character was both gay and disabled.

Speaking at the University of Washington, out actor, Ryan O’Connell, the creator and star of Netflix’s Special spoke about how he almost gave up pitching the show after years and years of hearing “No!”.

He said, “I went out with my gay mafia and pitched it to all these networks, “It was four years of like no, no, and f*ck no.”

“There were so many times where I was like ‘f*ck this, I wanna quit.’”

That was until Netflix “just bought it” revealed the star.


Speaking about the unique quality of Special, which is a TV show about a gay man who also has a disability, (O’Connell himself has cerebral palsy), he explained,


“I think disability is not discussed. There are so many conversations about being gay. These chairs are gay. I don’t think people know how to talk about [disability].”

“For the first time in 28 years of my life, I was being who I was, and I wasn’t lying about something,” he said. “It was always either being gay or being disabled, and I was finally just me” he added.

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