LA Pride 2019: Ryan O’Connell of Netflix’s ‘Special’ named Parade Celebrity Grand Marshal

LA Pride Parade Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O’Connell, seen in an episode of the Netflix series “Special,” will the celebrity grand marshal for the LA Pride Parade on June 9. Photo: Netflix.

WEST HOLLYWOOD —Ryan O’Connell, the star of Netflix’s comedy series “Special,” will be the Celebrity Grand Marshal for the LA Pride Parade, a press statement said today.

The series is loosely based on O’Connell’s own upbringing and experience as a gay man with cerebral palsy who is navigating his way through the world.

LA Pride Parade

“I’m honored to be one of The Grand Marshals at LA Pride,” O’Connell said in the statement. “My hope is that every young LGBTQ person is proud of who they are and that they dream about who they can be.

“Can’t wait to live, laugh, love with you all as we celebrate who we are and celebrate the brave shoulders that we all stand on,” O’Connell said.

The LA Pride Parade will begin 11 a.m. June 9, at Crescent Heights Boulevard and march west on Santa Monica Boulevard, ending at Robertson Boulevard.

LA Pride 2019: Universal Studios Hollywood to host LGBT night

LA Pride Festival

The LA Pride Festival will take place from noon to 1 a.m. June 8 and from noon to 11 p.m. June 9 in West Hollywood Park on San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue.

Advance tickets each day are $30 plus $4.75 in service fees.

Paula Abdul will perform a free concert at the LA Pride Festival opening ceremonies June 7.

Textile artists Leo Chiachio, Daniel Giannone create huge Pride Flag

Ryan O’Connell

O’Connell wrote “Special,” which is based on his 2015 book “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves,” a part-memoir, part-manifesto. O’Connell also is executive producer of “Special” alongside actor Jim Parsons.

In the offbeat comedy, O’Connell decides to rewrite his identity and finally pursue the life he wants. After years of dead-end internships, working in his pajamas as a blogger and communicating mostly via text, O’Connell eventually figures out how to take his life from bleak to chic.


KABC 7 will live broadcast the Pride Parade from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

KABC 7 will also air a pre-parade preview show June 8 at 6:30 p.m.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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