His father again wanted him not to have it, and to keep living his life and not take months away from it as he recovered; his mother was “on the fence.” But Haddad wanted to “because here is a part of my life that needed to be fixed.I knew I wanted my leg to be straighter.”In a sense, Haddad said, his father was right: The procedure has slowed him down, and made him less certain of his balance, which he had a lot more confidence in his late teens.He had always been attracted to men, and came out at 16 after falling for another guy at musical theater camp.

A teacher also told him if he wanted to play weddings he had to be the groom.“I was a little kid.It was a production of Annie, which he had loved seeing on TV and in Cleveland when he was growing up.The director said she wanted him to play Daddy Warbucks, but Haddad didn’t think Warbucks “could be played by an actor with a walker.” He thought he would be given the part of Franklin D.His “adorable” nephew is particularly watchful that “Uncle Ryan” has his cane when he visits.

Growing up in such a positive and supportive familial environment meant Haddad never felt angry—an emotion he felt for the first time walking into gay bars. If I was funny, smart, and fabulous and didn’t have a disability, I’d still be all those things but you wouldn’t find it ‘inspiring.’”As a teenager he didn't know why this “inspiration” could be seen as a microagression, or patronizing or insulting, but--in recent times--he also had an experience with a middle-aged woman who lived in his block who said she had watched him come and go about his life, and had found it inspiring.

Haddad still doesn’t know why the man in Manhattan’s Industry Bar burst into tears when he saw him.