Documentary tells story of 'search for self acceptance'

The Cranston Herald ·

If you want to see a fascinating documentary with Rhode Island connections, check out “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” available for free on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.

Warwick’s Gloria Walker, who took Brian Belovich into her home when he was an abused child, is featured in this revealing documentary about Belovich, who went from being a young boy to a woman and then back to a gay male.

Walker was a regular at the Pilgrim Senior Center, and according to publisher John Howell, a fascinating and colorful woman. Her personality shines through in the documentary interviews.

Brian, now a married gay substance abuse counselor for the LBGTQ community, tells director Karen Bernstein of his “search for self acceptance” in this sweeping documentary, which at times is stranger than fiction.

Brian, or “Trish” as he renamed himself, was born in 1956 in Fall River and spent much of his younger days in Rhode Island, certain at a young age that he wanted to be a woman.

The documentary jumps back and forth from past to present, where he frequently and eloquently tells his story to his younger days, as he searches for his identity.

Bernstein, niece of Leonard Bernstein, filmed scenes of Brian revisiting Rhode Island during a recent Gay Pride parade. He actually worked for the city of Providence in 1979. She also used many well-preserved photos and old films and videos taken during Brian’s life.

Most interesting are scenes of the ’80s when “Trish” lived in New York City as a trans woman, often referred to as NYC’s most famous diva and cabaret chanteuse.

Now in his ’60s, carrying a bit more weight and a grayish beard, it is hard to imagine him as this sexy, beautiful woman dancing and singing in night clubs, films, theatrical productions, and even as a sex worker.

We get a glimpse of his difficult childhood, his life as an army “wife,” his transformation to a gay married man, survival of the AIDS scare in the ’80s, and much more.

In addition to this incredible documentary, Brian has also written a couple of books and has lectured about his life.

While his lifestyle may be very controversial and of no interest to some, the documentary is more than just an LBGTQ movie. It is a study of a person looking for his identity and eventually finding it.


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