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A new series about a gay man with mild cerebral palsy will premiere on Netflix this month

By Alex Gonzalez
Published April 1, 2019

Many LGBTQ+ people are comprised of various intersecting identities, therefore, representation of their stories is essential. As a community, we are comprised of people from different social classes, of different races, and of different abilities. A new Netflix Original series called “Special” will center around a gay man living with mild cerebral palsy.

“Special,” which is based on Ryan O’Connell’s memoir, “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves,” actually stars O’Connell, who will be playing a semi-fictional version of himself.

Cerebral palsy is congenital disorder which often manifests itself in the forms of impaired speech, poor coordination, and weak muscles. On “Special,” Ryan unintentionally leads his coworkers to believe his limp and his coordination is the result of being hit by a car before later deciding to embrace all intersections of his identity; his sexuality and his disability.

“I was in the closet about being gay, and then I was in the closet about being disabled,” says Ryan in the trailer, “and now, no more closets.”

Apart from sexuality and disability, “Special” will also touch on body positivity, with his co-worker Kim (Punam Patel) will navigate the world as a self-proclaimed “non-skinny, non-white girl.”

The first season of “Special” will consist of eight episodes and will premiere Friday April 12 on Netflix. Check out the trailer for “Special” below!

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