Trans figured My journey from boy to girl to woman to man

Brian Belovitch

Book - 2018

In Trans Figured, Brian Belovitch shares his true story of life as a gender outlier and his dramatic journey through the jungle of gender identity. Brian has had the rare distinction of coming out three times: first as a queer teenager; then as a glamorous transgender woman named Tish, and later, Natalia Gervais; and finally as an HIV-positive gay man surviving the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. From growing up in a barely-working-class first-generation immigrant family in Fall River, Massachusetts, ...to spinning across the disco dance floor of Studio 54 in New York City, from falling into military lock-step as the Army wife of a domineering GI in Germany to having a brush with fame as Natalia, high-flying downtown darling of the boozy and druggy pre-Giuliani New York nightclub scene, Brian escaped many near-death experiences. Trans Figured chronicles a life lived on the edge with an unforgettable cast of characters during a dangerous and chaotic era. Rich with drama and excitement, this no-holds-barred memoir tells it all. Most importantly, Brian's candid and poignant story of recovery shines a light on the perseverance of the human spirit.

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Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
New York, NY : Skyhorse Publishing 2018.
Language
English
Physical Description
232 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781510729643
151072964X
Main Author
Brian Belovitch (author)
  • Sex work singer
  • Miss gendered
  • Farewell innocence
  • Bullying and friendship
  • Runaway
  • Lola
  • New York ho!
  • Natalia's dilemma
  • Antonio's girl
  • Club crawl
  • Lush life
  • Drama major
  • Love connection
  • Army hausfrau
  • Footlights
  • Hell's Kitchen consequential
  • Recovery
  • Transitions
  • Life of Brian
  • Sterling place
  • A new happiness.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Belovitch has led a complicated life as a queer teenager, a transgender woman, and, finally, retransitioning into an HIV-positive gay man. How he managed to survive these various phases is the story of this fascinating, at times disturbing memoir of abuse, discovery, and acceptance. Growing up in a working-class New England family surrounded by five "hyper-masculine brothers" was not easy. The sexual abuse by neighbors, friends, and strangers started at a young age, as did petty crime. A self-described pretty" and "slightly cherubic boy," he endured profound sexual confusion and felt that he never belonged anywhere. And so he turned to doing tricks in drag before transitioning into a transgender woman. He also drank heavily and became hooked on heroin. Eventually, he married an American soldier and moved with him to what was then West Germany. Back in New York, he became the darling of the club scene. This is a wild, harrowing tale, but Belovitch is a likable narrator, and readers will root for him along the tortuous way to his hard-won happiness. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this frank memoir, often cheeky despite dark subject matter, Belovitch recounts an unusual life. His childhood is characterized by child abuse, a vicious rape, and merciless bullying from children and adults alike about his "effeminate" behavior. In 1972, Brian becomes glamorous Natalia—Tish for short—and escapes to New York. Tish is charming, beautiful, and charismatic, and she becomes by turns an escort, a military wife, and an actress and scenester. She makes a name for herself among New York's glitterati—Andy Warhol, Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, and RuPaul Charles all pop up—but cannot escape her addiction to drugs. After hitting rock bottom, she is finally forced to confront the trauma she's been hiding from her whole life. In recovery, Belovitch realizes that "I had never felt I was a girl, only that I was feminine-inclined" and, because of the rigid gender categorizations of the '70s and '80s, that she had to "pick a lane" rather than have a body and presentation that didn't match in others' eyes. With a measure of social change and self-acceptance, Tish becomes Brian again, pursues acting and photojournalism, and meets and marries his husband. This dizzying tale of family, addiction, and the weight of cultural expectation testifies movingly to the harm rigid social categories can inflict. Photos. Agent: Tom Miller, Carol Mann Agency. (Oct.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

“A thrilling read…. One of the most mercilessly candid and outspoken memoirs in years. If Holly Golightly existed, this might have been her true story. I couldn’t put it down.”—Scott Wittman, Tony and Grammy award-winning lyricist of HairsprayImagine experiencing life not as the gender dictated by birth but as one of your own design. In Trans Figured, Brian Belovitch shares his true story of life as a gender outlier and his dramatic journey through the jungle of gender identity.Brian has the rare distinction of coming out three times: first as a queer teenager; second as a glamorous transgender woman named Tish, and later, Natalia Gervais; and finally as an HIV-positive gay man surviving the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. From growing up in a barely-working-class first-generation immigrant family in Fall River, Massachusetts, to spinning across the disco dance floor of Studio 54 in New York City . . . from falling into military lock-step as the Army wife of a domineering GI in Germany to having a brush with fame as Natalia, high-flying downtown darling of the boozy and druggy pre-Giuliani New York nightclub scene, Brian escaped many near-death experiences.Trans Figured chronicles a life lived on the edge with an unforgettable cast of characters during a dangerous and chaotic era. Rich with drama and excitement, this no-holds-barred memoir tells it all. Most importantly, Brian's candid and poignant story of recovery shines a light on the perseverance of the human spirit.