Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Transgender man talks of survival, HIV, self-acceptance
by Charlsie Dewey
2018-11-28

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When listening to Brian Belovitch recount the first 30 to 40 years of his life, it's hard not to wonder how he survived it all. He admits that his journey almost killed him.

It's ironic because so much of that journey was about survival, making choices based on how to stay safe and also trying to make those around him comfortable with his identity.

He spent his teens identifying as queer and experimenting with drag, ultimately deciding to transition to a woman and living the next decade and a half as Natalia "Tish" Gervais, and eventually retransitioning and settling back into his life as Brian Belovitch. Today, Belovitch uses the pronouns he, his and him "out of convenience."

More assured about his identity and with the wisdom of many decades, Belovitch set out to write a memoir about his life and the identities he adopted along the way, with the ultimate hope of helping others struggling with their identity.

In Trans Figured: My Journey from Boy to Girl to Woman to Man, Belovitch talks about recognizing he was different as a child, struggling with that difference in his teen and young adult years, making the decision to transition to female and the efforts he undertook to live his life as fully as he possible, and inevitably discovering that no matter what he did he always ended up feeling "frustrated and disappointed." In the end, his retransition back to male and social progress helped him discover his identity and settle into the life he is living today.

"From early on, in my own innocence, I thought it was great that I felt different, or looked different, or acted differently than most other boys my age, but later on in my life it turned against me," he said.

Belovitch said by puberty the negative messages were so strong that he also began to think there must be something wrong with him.

"It was definitely a combination of messages I was barraged with from my parents, siblings, teachers, friends, etc. I just kept receiving this message from those people that some how there must have been a mistake about my gender, or whatever it was, I was wrong," he said.

By his mid to late teens, Belovitch had begun calling himself queer, but he did not fit into the "macho" image adopted by many gay men at the time. And he definitely didn't feel safe in the world around him.

Ultimately, Belovitch decided to transition to female, believing it was his best chance at being able to be himself and also at survival. At the time he committed fully to the decision, beginning hormones, growing out his hair and eventually getting top surgery.

His years living as a woman did not bring the relief he had hoped for. "I'd gone and done almost everything I wanted and thought I should do as that person, and every road led to a dead end, which was completely frustrating and extremely disappointing," he said, adding, "I spent an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be something that I wasn't."

While struggling with his identity once again, Belovitch was diagnosed with HIV. He said living as a trans woman with HIV was the scariest time of his life.

"As a trans women in the '80s, testing positive for HIV, that was the most frightening. That was scarier than becoming trans and then coming out as a gay man at 30 something," he said.

Belovitch's decision to write about his journey had a lot to do with wanting to ensure future generations don't forget the struggles of the past and to help those who are struggling with their gender identity today.

"That is one of the reasons I wrote the book, for historical accuracy and to include my own personal experiences about my gender transitions, and also so that parents and kids and anyone questioning their gender could look at my journey and take whatever they need from it. Is it a cautionary tale, a heroic tale? Whatever they need to take from it. I think it's an important contribution that I can make. Thank god I can remember it all."

Belovitch said parents today should support their children and let their children discover their identity at their own pace. "Let them figure it out and take a step back and only intervene when you have to."

Looking back, he said he doesn't really have regrets, but he does wish he'd had support early on so maybe he could have avoided the pain that he went through.

"I'm the perfect example, if someone had just guided and supported me and listened and let me be who I was, maybe I could have avoided the problems later on if I'd had more support."

Trans Figured: My Journey from Boy to Girl to Woman to Man is available now through Skyhorse Publishing.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Powerful AIDS group may be examined for use of federal funds 2019-08-21 - California state Sen. Ben Hueso ( D-Chula Vista ) has asked state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate if the AIDS Healthcare Foundation ...


Gay News

Reports: Wachowski back in the Matrix 2019-08-21 - Transgender filmmaker and Chicago native Lana Wachowski announced Aug. 20 that she would be directing a fourth Matrix film, according to Variety. Wachowski ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans death, ACA, 1957 gay wedding, serial killer 2019-08-21 - Several bridges and the city hall building in Houston were lit in transgender flag colors to honor the memory of Tracy Single, 22—a ...


Gay News

WORLD Fleeing Russia, Cuban activist, UNAIDS, Magnum ad 2019-08-21 - Gay married couple Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev were forced to flee Russia over concerns their adopted children could be taken away, NewNowNext.com ...


Gay News

Study finds older transgender men who are pregnant risk depression, lack of care 2019-08-15 - Older transgender men who become pregnant need better mental health care than female counterparts Transgender men who become pregnant are at increased ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans march, Danica Roem, cannabis company, lesbian tech event 2019-08-13 - A National Transgender Visibility March on Washington originally planned for March 31 will now take place Saturday, Sept. 28, The Washington Blade reported. ...


Gay News

Trans ex-student prevails in restroom case 2019-08-11 - In Virginia, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled Aug. 9 that a school board's transgender bathroom ban discriminated against former student Gavin ...


Gay News

Study Looks at Adolescent Experiences for Transgender Women of Color 2019-08-08 - Boston, MA, August 7, 2019—A groundbreaking study published in the most recent issue of Transgender Health finds that young transgender women of color ...


Gay News

ACLU opens arguments for trans prisoners' healthcare rights 2019-08-07 - ACLU of Illinois began arguments the week of July 30 for a federal injunction they say would improve healthcare conditions for transgender state ...


Gay News

We need to talk about the 'Pose' hospital episode right now 2019-08-07 - The TV show Pose, on FX, is nothing less than astounding to me. So much could have gone wrong, with the era, the ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.