Nearly all of us in the LGBTQ community were raised in a very heteronormative family lacking in role models that as gay men and women we could actually relate too. That is rapidly changing and hopefully future generations of queers will benefit from those who a whole slew of LGBTQ ‘pioneers’ we can now take our leads from.
Queerguru would like to suggest an addition to the ranks. Ryan J Haddad may be still in his late 20’s but after seeing him perform his autobiographical play about being gay and having cerebral palsy , he is definitely a very impressive role model.
Actually the play “Hi Are You Single” is not just about Haddad being queer, it is about his lifetime search for a boyfriend. In the space of an hour he takes you from having phone sex literally on stage, through his exploratory years through College, to all the pitfalls and joys of gay bars and dating.
He has a very infectious sense of humor but it is his sheer honesty that warms you most to him. There is a point where he is zealously staking his claim for attention and tolerance, when he inadvertently fails to offer the same to a bald black man in a bar. It is totally understandable however. as Haddad has spent his entire adult life making his disability seemingly acceptable to the men he wants to bed.
Haddad milks the details of some awkward sexual encounters that most of us would have never revealed. But he does it with such joie de vivre that makes each story a sheer joy to share with him.
It’s through his sheer energy and wit that we start to question ourselves ….. possibly for the first time ….. about the reality of gay men and women with any disabilities and how we interact with them . Or not. Like Haddad we also admire Ryan O’Connell for his award winning TV series Special which showed gay man with cerebral palsy actually naked and going at it with another man.
It is way past time that we consider them not as disabled, but sexual beings, something that both Ryans are determined to drum into us.
Haddad’s ability to also intimately share the non-sexual intimate parts of his piece is very impactful. He fearless bares his soul that we cannot but fail to fall in love with just a little bit. And it’s not just because of those lips of his.
It leaves us wanting more, and also wanting to know what happens next. I’m sure he has a lot more to share with us.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with IAMA Theatre Company presents HI, ARE YOU SINGLE? by Ryan J. Haddad Directed by Laura Savia and Jess McLeod STREAMING UNTIL FEB 28TH 2021