River Phoenix: This Road Will Never End

‘This Road Will Never End’ was a documentary by Will Parry on Channel 4, and served as part of a series about gay icons. It was shot in 1996, and although I’d been out for a couple of years, this was my one (and probably only) experience at coming out (literally) to the entire world. Will asked me to recount my experiences growing up gay, and the influence River Phoenix had had on me, from ‘Stand by Me’, to ‘Running on Empty’, through to ‘My Own Private Idaho’. With a complete absence of role models in my teens, River was the one and only role model I had who legitimised being gay (even though he wasn’t). I was devastated by his death in 1993, and he remains the celebrity I most wanted to meet, but never did.

I look quite appalling in the documentary, which I apologise wholeheartedly for. It was a terrible time in my life, and it reflects in my appearance. But it was a cathartic experience, and I was told by people I later met where I grew up, that my coming out on television was hugely empowering for them. For all sorts of reasons, enjoy the documentary (click ‘keep reading’ below) and don’t be afraid of leaving comments.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

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3 responses to “River Phoenix: This Road Will Never End

  1. Which part are you in?

  2. In far too much of it IIRC lol! Will used me to frame a lot of the documentary, focusing as it did on ‘My Own Private Idaho’ from a British perspective, and me being a Briton from Portland, Oregon.

    Part 5 has me, just scanning quickly. Please forgive the appearance. The husband has been the man responsible for making me look even half human now! 😉

  3. thankyou for posting this. it fits perfectly with my english assignment : )

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