Originally this blog was called RobWorld, and then it became The Land of de Vries, and then, finally, Confessions of de Vries. The "de Vries" of the title refers to the surname of my alter ego, 'Angelo de Vries', but, alas....I am done confessing in character. In closing up shop for good, I added a "The" to the name because it felt the right thing to do now that what's been posted can rightfully be dubbed "THE confessions". I feel satisfied that the entries posted over the last four years comprise a deeply personal book that I could not have been entirely aware that I was writing all along. I will check back to refresh links and revisit comments, but The Confessions of de Vries will otherwise remain frozen in time, with my favorite color combination, pink and black, kept intact throughout eternity.
What I wrote was always totally honest, but often guided by an overriding influence: the "Vogue Boy" video, and the desire to entertain and enlighten the people now inclined to think of me as a perennial dancing nine year old. When I began the blog in June 2011, I wanted to be the person whom I had assumed people wanted that boy to grow up to be, or at least who I thought they wanted me to be that one weekend when the video was really, really popular. It may seem silly that I would have felt this way, because it was silly. But I am someone who is always aiming to please, and after that one weekend of mega-virality, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for such a happy experience to manifest during an otherwise sad and frightening time in my personal life.
By June 2012 I had mostly shed this totally unnecessary "how can I let on that I'm not really a dancer?!" concern in favor of displaying my written work: the pop culture-oriented essays that I had put so much effort into in college; the diary-like works that I had written in high school with no prior intention of ever making public; and a handful of essays about social struggles and sexual self-discovery, the writing of which would lead directly to my being diagnosed, as an adult, with autism spectrum disorder. It was this later trend of adult-oriented work that brought about catharsis, and which I feel is the freshest and most well-written. But it also felt unnecessarily provocative, if not inappropriate, in light of my familiarity to most readers being rooted in knowing me as an intense, gender-queer nine year old dancing eternally to Madonna's "Vogue".
By June 2013, a number of personal hardships lead to my output on this blog being reduced dramatically. And in the two years leading up to today, as life's challenges became more overwhelming, I only posted seven times. But I am especially proud of those final seven chapters of a book-in-progress that is finally complete, even if the inspiration behind several chapters was and is personally devastating. I offer up four chapters to underline my sentiments.
The very first chapter of The Confessions Of de Vries was written at the height of post-"Vogue Boy" euphoria, a euphoria fueled in large part by the happiness that that mini-phenomenon brought to my mother and father that glorious weekend in June 2011.
The third chapter was about Marilyn Chambers, whom I regard not only as a great and underrated star, but as a beautiful and powerful guiding spirit.
The penultimate chapter was about another guiding spirit and my most-beloved of all stars, Miss Bette Davis. On the 25th anniversary of her passing, I wrote about the role that my mother and especially my father played in delivering me the news of her death, back in October of 1989. I will always be grateful that my father read this essay and knew how vital this experience was in cementing my lifelong convictions about spiritual immortality.
The last chapter of my confessions, sadly and yet beautifully enough, is the eulogy that I wrote and read at my beloved father's funeral last February.
I feel that I have said what I needed to say and represented who and what I needed to represent. Except for one person. I have never posted a picture of my partner Brian before--in fact, I have never even revealed his name! And so although it was taken in the sad weeks following my father's passing, I want to close out The Confessions of de Vries with one, final image: Brian and I. It is presently my favorite picture of us. We were photographed by my Mom, and I can feel my Dad's spirit imbued in every pixel, along with both of my parents' love and appreciation for what Brian and I have shared since 2003.
I will continue to write as 'Angelo de Vries', but only when I am writing screenplays. And hopefully one of those scripts will soon be produced for one medium or another so that I can really introduce you to Angelo! But, from here, my personal writing will be by me and me alone, exclusive and unfiltered. As such, my new, entirely separate platform for original writing (aka "my blog") will be called Confessions of Robert E. I will update the link when it is online, and in the meantime, I hope that you may revisit some of the many chapters that comprise The Confessions of de Vries. Some of them are funny, some of them are painful, and many of them continue to articulate my most important memories, my most embarrassing truths, and my sociopolitical positions more effectively than I could ever hope to otherwise. Until I get back to confessing as Robert E. Jeffrey, I will re-post many favorite chapters throughout the summer via Twitter and shall continue speaking a thousand words at a time on Instagram. And please, don't be shy: I really do LOVE being followed! ;-)
I could never have imagined a more comprehensive summation of my life up to this point as I have now thanks to having written these confessions. And I will never forget the profound era of my life encompassed by each respective chapter uploaded between June 2011 and June 2015. I hope you will join me on the rest of my journey in life and in writing, and I cannot thank you enough for being a part of the ride thus far.
With love always,
Robert E. / Angelo de Vries Xoxoxo