cover image Trans Figured: My Journey from Boy to Girl to Woman to Man

Trans Figured: My Journey from Boy to Girl to Woman to Man

Brian Belovitch. Skyhorse, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-5107-2964-3

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.)