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Dixon looks every bit the poised, self-possessed Olympian, and she was—except for one area of her life in which she felt painfully insecure.

So I was surprised when a post popped up in my Facebook newsfeed advertising his new show, and a risqué one to boot.

The sweet elementary school kid I had known was now openly and vividly discussing his sex life on a stage far away from suburban Ohio. I don't live in the United States currently, so Ryan sent me a video of one of his live performances. Not because of the sexual content - Ryan begins the show lying half-naked in a bed and stroking himself over his boxers as he flirts with a man via webcam - but because of the often ignorant and painful responses he gets from the men he tries to connect with.

But Ryan's ability to find humor in such lonely, painful situations is also because he has been living this reality all his life.

But getting other gay men to realize that or give him a chance is a hurdle.

He explores the complicated issues of sex, love and disability in the gay community in a solo show called, at Dixon Place in New York City on Nov. It is a stirring work of theater, replete with both heartrending and deliberately hilarious moments. Full disclosure, I first met Ryan back in our hometown of Parma, Ohio, when he was nine years old and I was 16.

He had been cast as a young Ebenezer Scrooge in my high school's production of .

is an autobiographical account of Ryan's dating experiences as a gay, disabled man.