Words: Will Stroude
Special is back for a second season on Netflix, and romance is on the cards for Ryan O'Connell's on-screen alter-ego, Ryan Hayes.
The first season of O'Connell's semi-autobiographical comedy about life as a young gay man with cerebral palsy earned four Emmy nominations following its 2019 debut, but with season two also sadly marking the show's final run, fans will have to savour every second of the eight new episodes set to hit Netflix on Thursday 20 May.
An official synopsis for season two reads: "Ryan (Ryan O'Connell) really needs to get his shit together. It's been two months and he still hasn't spoken to Karen since their fight and he has a gnarly case of writer's block that's getting him in hot water with Olivia (Marla Mindelle).
"Enter Tanner (Max Jenkins), a fun, flirty dance instructor who charms Ryan despite not being totally available. When his writer's block eventually lifts, he's inspired to write a longform piece about disability.
"From there, he begins a journey of self-discovery that creates unexpected complications in his relationship with Tanner."
Special has won vast acclaim for its depiction of disabiltiy and sexuality on screen - something O'Connell sheds more light on in the Attitude Sex & Sexuality issue, out now to download and to order globally.
"As a gay man all I ever wanted was to be sexualised,” O'Connell tells Attitude.
“It sounds so crass and base, but it’s true, I wanted to be seen as desirable, I wanted people to want to have sex with me. I wanted what everybody wants, but also, not only did I want what everybody wants, but I had to deal with society never seeing me that way."
The 34-year-old continues: “I feel like my sexuality as a disabled gay man has been, kind of, castrated by society.
"I feel like, by me doing these sex scenes, it’s me being like, ‘I dare you to erase me, bitch. I dare you to turn the channel. You’re gonna look at this body, honey, and you’re gonna feel things about it. You can’t get rid of me, honey, here I am.’"
Read the full interview with Ryan O'Connell in the Attitude Sex & Sexuality issue, out now.
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