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Ryan O'Connell        

Star and Creator of "Special"; Author, LGBTQ Activist & Disability Advocate

Ryan O’Connell is a two-time Emmy® award winner most known for creating “Special,” a four-time Emmy®-nominated and Writers Guild Award-winning short-form series on Netflix, which he wrote and executive produced for two seasons. O’Connell also received a Special Recognition Award from GLAAD Award and a Visibility Award from the HRC. “Special,” which is also executive produced by Jim Parsons, is loosely based on O’Connell’s own upbringing and experience as a gay man navigating the world with cerebral palsy.

Most recently, O’Connell was a Co-Executive Producer and star of the “Queer as Folk” reboot, which premiered on Peacock. He previously worked on the writing staff on NBC’s revival of “Will & Grace,” MTV’s “Awkward,” and Netflix’s “The Baby-Sitters Club.”

O’Connell is also an accomplished, sought-after writer and his voice is both refreshing and unique. He is the author of “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves,” part-memoir, part-manifesto which was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015 to widespread praise. O’Connell’s debut novel “Just By Looking At Him” was just published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. He is set to write, direct, produce and star in the film adaptation with FilmNation and Berlanti.

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