Virtual Programming: Ryan O'Connell offers bold inspiration to be yourself
A beloved blogger turned voice of an online generation, RYAN O'CONNELL is best known as the producer and star of SPECIAL, a Netflix series based on his bestseller I’m Special: and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. A hilarious memoir-meets-manifesto, I'm Special explores what it means to be a millennial gay man living with cerebral palsy. The Netflix series was celebrated as "revolutionizing queer, disabled representation on TV."
Ryan has established himself as a unique young voice who’s not afraid to dole out some real talk. A celebrated LGBTQ+ and disabilities advocate, he has engaged in a virtual workshop for people with disabilities, discussed the struggles to get Special made into a show, and more.
Ryan most recently adapted his book I’m Special: and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves as an 8 episode short-form series for Netflix with Jim Parsons producing. Ryan Executive Produced and starred in this series which is loosely based on his upbringing, growing up with cerebral palsy, discovering he was gay and navigating through his 20’s. Prior to that, he was an Executive Story Editor on NBC’s revival of Will & Grace which was nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Comedy. Previously, Ryan spent a couple years on the Awkward writing staff where they ended up creating a character on the show based on him. On the feature side, Ryan wrote Popular for DreamWorks based on the autobiography by Maya Van Wagene. He’s a truly unique voice who served as the Editor of Thought Catalog and has contributed to numerous publications ala Vice and Buzzfeed.