I don’t have as many issues so I think the writings of who I was at Thought Catalog was the writings of someone who was very sad, felt very lost and didn’t know if they were ever going to be happy.
Even though a lot of gay guys will read that and go, He wasn’t scared to write about those subjects because he knew everyone else was having sex and getting rejected. O’Connell wasn’t scared of coming out of the closet, in part, because he had supportive parents who he said never made him feel ashamed about being gay. “I understand about shame, trust me, honey,” he says, “because of my disability.” Cerebral palsy held O'Connell back from seeking meaningful relationships with men.
He was afraid to go on dating sites because he thought that he would "false advertise" and "didn’t want to show up to a date limping." When he would go on dates with people, he says, "I would try to conceal or try to have them walk ahead of me so they didn’t see me walk. It was fucking torture." Looking back on that period of his life, he says he would agonize in his room in New York, and think to himself, , just limping all over the place, and I don’t give a shit! It's such a relief to not care." The confidence that gave him the ability to write openly about nearly every embarrassing detail of his life was “on-loan,” during his time as a blogger, as he calls it, because he would tell people that his visible limp came from a car crash. “The irony is that I was doing all of this and keeping a huge shameful secret the whole time,” says O'Connell.
I feel like we could help so many people by doing this.” Thinking back as far as a year to this day, he would never have conceived of sitting with me, or anyone for that matter, talking about Cerebral Palsy, because it was something that was “so locked inside of myself,” says O’Connell, leaning in to the table.
“Confidence is real,” he says, and after revealing the secret he carried, he remembers “guys flocking” to him for the first time.
He’s always seen himself in the same tradition of comedians “with balls” such as Joan Rivers or Sarah Silverman, who aren’t afraid to say exactly what’s on their mind, even when it gets them in trouble.
O’Connell is known for writing unabashedly about sex and getting rejected by men.
O’Connell will write and executive produce the show along with Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak, who will executive produce the show through That’s Wonderful Productions.
He says America is ready for a gay disabled character on television.
“You get a rush of euphoria every time someone ‘likes’ your posts.