Today, Brian Belovitch is an addiction counselor, actor and author living with his husband in Brooklyn, New York. But 30 years ago, Belovitch was a model, performer and party girl named Natalia "Tish" Gervais, who rubbed elbows with A-list celebrities on the New York club scene. In his riveting new memoir, TransFigured: My Journey From Boy To Girl To Woman To Man, the trans woman-turned-man spills all his secrets on the stars, from Mickey Rourke to Christopher Meloni.
During a shoot at famous fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez’ studio in 1977, Belovitch — then Gervais — met the legendary Grace Jones in the flesh. "She couldn’t have been more charming and down to earth," he writes. "We immediately got on the subject of astrology, which she loved, and had a lively chat about her Taurean ways and her current boyfriend at the time, Jean-Paul Goude, a Sagittarius — an impossible match."
While partying at the Gilded Grape, where men often sought out trans escorts, Belovitch met a "scrappy, rough-looking Irish guy" bouncer — Mickey Rourke! "He was very sexy in a beat-up kind of Marlon Brando way," he writes. "A huge flirt, too, and the girls loved it…If a trick was being annoying or if you were having any kind of hassle, he had your back for sure."
Belovitch, then Gervais, worked as a high-class escort in the 80’s — and she had some big-name clients. During one call at a wealthy man’s apartment, "I recognized that this guy was the husband of a famous Oscar-winning Hollywood actress," Belovitch spills. "He also was really kinky. It turned out Oscars weren’t the only thing he liked golden!"
One night while leaving the infamous Limelight, Belovitch — who later wed a handsome G.I. and moved to Germany — left with one of the "sexy and handsome" club bouncers. The pair hooked up with some "hot and heavy above-the-waist kissing and caressing." Several years later, the bouncer became an Academy Award-nominated actor.
Belovitch met RuPaul Charles — who sported a multi-colored Mohawk — at the Jane West Hotel long before he became a drag icon. "His upbeat energy and innate drive reminded me of an idling car motor," he writes. "I remember thinking to myself, ‘This kid is really going places.’"
Just months before Belovitch got sober in 1986 following struggles with alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction, the star — then Gervais — invited Andy Warhol to host his 30th birthday party at nightclub Saint. "Gee thanks, sure," Warhol answered.
After sobering up, Belovitch — then still Gervais — worked as an actress at the 13th Street Theater. "Several guys in the theater company flirted and chased after me," he writes. "One was a very handsome young Italian-American actor named Chris…Everybody loved him, myself included." "Chris" was Chris Meloni, who later found fame on Law & Order: SVU.