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Gary Brewton

Page history last edited by Brian Riedel 12 years, 5 months ago

Dr. Gary Brewton was interviewed in 2010 by Akshay Agrawal, Shawn Banon, and Xiao Zheng.

Brewton agreed that the students could mount a Wikipedia entry about him. The original Wikipedia entry is provided below.

Informed consent, a video, and extended paper documentation for the interview are available at the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Return to the SWGS 201 interviewee list.


Gary W. Brewton (born January 19, 1954) is an American Board of Internal Medicine certified physician currently residing in Houston, TX. Brewton was one of the first doctors in Houston to work with people with HIV infection and AIDS.[1] He has been credited as an HIV Specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine and currently runs a primary care clinic for adults.[1] He is an active member of the Bering Memorial United Methodist Church and active volunteer of the Houston and GLBT community.[2]


Personal Life and Education

Brewton was born in Houston in 1954.[1] After a couple years, his father, who was a chemical engineer working with Shell, got transferred to Norco, Louisiana.[1] Brewton spent 13 years growing up in the suburbs of New Orleans and moved back to Houston in 1970, continuing to live there today.[1]

Brewton attended Cy-Fair high school in Houston for his final two years of high school.[1] Brewton then began attending Rice University on a National Merit scholarship and the Arthur B. Cohn Scholarship in 1972.[2] While at Rice he was elected two years in a row to serve as Editor of The Rice Thresher.[1] A member of Lovett College, he graduated in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology.[1]

From a very young age, Brewton knew he wanted to be a physician,[1] and following Rice he attended Baylor College of Medicine graduating as a Doctor of Medicine in 1981.[2] He subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine in the Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals Residency Training Program.[1]


Creation of Montrose Clinic

He got his start in HIV due to his interest in sexually transmitted diseases. Knowing that sexually transmitted diseases were common in sexually active gay men, he took the opportunity as a second year, preclinical medical student to rotate through the Houston City Health Department Clinic working with such patients.[1] In addition, in July 1978 he called together the local chapter of Gay People in Medicine, which was the first organized group of gay and lesbian health professionals in Houston.[2] This group, with the contribution of many people, became the incubator for Montrose Clinic, the city’s first nonprofit gay and lesbian health organization.[2] In 1980 he spent a month in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control writing the planning document and treatment protocols that were foundational for the Montrose Clinic when it opened in 1981.[1]


Work with HIV/AIDS

With this knowledge and experience, he immediately took interest in HIV when it was first reported in 1981. He saw his first person with what would later be known as AIDS in 1982 while still in training at the Houston Veterans Administration Hospital.[1][2] As a resident he became a resource on HIV/AIDS related information for his peers. He attended the First International Conference on AIDS in Atlanta, Georgia in April 1985,[2] and was invited to join the faculty of the University of Texas System Cancer Center-M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, working in the HIV/AIDS clinic there. One of the first full-time HIV clinicians in the city, he rose to the rank of Assistant Professor before he left M.D. Anderson when the Institute for Immunological Disorders, a hospital and clinic set up by UT-M.D. Anderson, closed its doors in 1987.[1][2]

From 1987 to 1998 Dr. Brewton worked with the group of HIV/AIDS and cancer specialists known as OnCol Medical Associates, which provided state-of-the art care in facilities that included a reference immunology laboratory, an infusionpharmacy paired with an infusion center, on-site pharmacists, and nurses that enabled people to receive high quality care while remaining comfortable at home.[1] In addition, OnCol was equipped with negatively-pressurized inhalation therapy rooms, clinic spaces, classrooms, and meeting rooms.[1]

Since 1998, he has continued his work in HIV care, as well as proving primary care for adults with general Internal Medicine needs, in a solo practice setting in Montrose. He was elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians by his peers in Internal Medicine, one of the highest honors an internist can receive.[1]

In the October 2009 OutSmart magazine, Dr. Gary Brewton was recognized as a runner-up for “Best Physician” in the “Gayest and Greatest” article.[3]


Religious Calling

In recent years, Brewton has responded to a new calling to ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church.[1] Growing up, Brewton regularly attended church and Sunday school.[1] He has been a member of Bering Memorial Methodist Church since 1989,[2] when he was drawn to the Bering’s programs for people living with HIV/AIDS, including the Bering Dental Clinic, the first in the nation to provide dental care for people with HIV/AIDS, the Bering Care Center, providing adult day care, and the Bering Support Network, the city of Houston’s oldest HIV peer support group.[1] In 2007, he entered the Houston-Galveston extension program of Perkins School of Theology, in part to give face and voice to gay people in the church. Many GLBT people have suffered violence and abuse in churches, and Brewton says he feels called to witness against that discrimination and to share the healing and hope that he has found in the church at Bering.[2] He hopes to continue practicing medicine following ordination, in what is called bivocational ministry, combining spiritual and physical healing in the holistic way that God desires for all people.[1] Brewton says shalom or peace is more than just the absence of conflict; it is the state of wholeness where healing, love, and justice are found together; Brewton believes that faith communities are uniquely equipped to bring God’s shalom to the world.[1]


Future Goals and Interests

Brewton sees that, apart from HIV/AIDS, gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered (GLBT) people are discriminated against by those who would deny them full participation in all aspects of church life.[2] This discrimination makes churches deaf to the contributions GLBT people would make, and discredits churches’ authority to speak on a variety of moral issues wholly apart from sexuality.[1] Many heterosexual people see that if gay people are not safe in a church then no one is safe there. That is not to say that churches should avoid talking about sex altogether: Brewton feels that healthy sexuality is a gift of God that has life-giving power and that God wants people to enjoy.[2] As part of his move into ministry, he gave a sermon titled “Sex and Being Single: Options for Holy Living,”[4] due to his interest in helping people examine sexuality and how it fits into the wholeness of their being, rather than splitting their lives into different spheres.[2]

To Brewton, the stories of people with HIV/AIDS and the stories of GLBT people are similar in many ways, especially when they include themes of rejection, prejudice, and irrational fear;[2] yet at the same time, these stories include themes of reconciliation and, healing, and have great integrity, beauty, and courage.[2] The stories of people with HIV/AIDS have healing power that is seen in the remarkable resilience of people and communities that have thrived, survived, and even celebrated in the direst circumstances.[2] Dr. Brewton's plan is to study how wisdom and experience contained in the stories of such people healing power for other individuals and communities.[1]

His immediate and extended family of origin and his family of choice at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, at Perkins School of Theology, and in the GLBT community have supported him throughout the years and he is grateful for their support. [2]



  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x  See the interview on file at Rice University, March 2010
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Brewton, Gary. "Our Staff." GaryBrewton. Web. 8 Feb. 2010. <http://www.garybrewton.com/staff.htm>.
  3. ^ "Gayest and Greatest." OutSmartMagazine. Web. 8 Feb. 2010. <http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/this_issue/?storyid=1191012169>.
  4. ^ Brewton, Gary. "Sex and Being Single: Options for Holy Living."<http://www.beringumc.org/>.<www.beringumc.org/0311wit.pdf>.



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