A powerful memoir of independence, releasing the past, and living the dream by award-winning trans advocate Precious Brady-Davis.
Precious Brady-Davis remembers the sense of being singular and grappling with “otherness.” Born into traumatic circumstances, Davis was brought up in the Omaha foster care system and the Pentecostal faith. As a biracial, gender-nonconforming kid, she felt displaced. Yet she realized by coming into her identity that she had a purpose all along.
In I Have Always Been Me, Brady-Davis reflects on a childhood of neglect, instability, and abandonment. She reveals her determination to dream through it and shares her profound journey as a trans woman now fully actualized, absolutely confident, and precious. She speaks to anyone who has ever tried to find their place in this world and imparts the wisdom that comes with surmounting odds and celebrating on the other side.
A memoir, a love story, and an outreach for the marginalized, Precious’s sojourn is a song of self-reliance and pride and an invitation to join in the chorus.
One of The Advocate’s “Most Exciting LGBTQ+ Debuts to Read This Summer”
“Readers can share in the joy of [Precious’s] first time performing in drag and later meeting her now-husband, Myles Brady-Davis, which lead her to appearing as the first trans bride on the hit show, Say Yes to The Dress, and eventually, to becoming a mother.” —The Advocate
“I Have Always Been Me speaks to the powerful process of how one comes into naming their gender identity, defining their values, and choosing how to live their life.” —them.
“The author is a shining example of a proud Black trans woman, celebrating genderqueerness in her work and personal lives. An inspiring memoir of nonconformity.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Brady-Davis’s sharp wit and blunt honesty—especially her openness about unlearning internalized bigotry—is arresting. This serves up unapologetic realness the whole way through.” —Publishers Weekly
“The story of Brady-Davis’s ascendance, first as a high school drama kid, then a Chicago drag queen, then as a female communications executive, LGBTQ activist and happily married mother of a toddler, radiates hope, joy and determination—even in its darkest chapters.” —Chicago Tribune
“For teens who need to know it gets better, this story will assure them it does.” —School Library Journal
“A sparkling debut memoir…Refreshingly candid, this one is bound to delight readers this summer.” —Ms. Magazine
“It stands as a shining example of representation, both imperfect and authentic.” —Booklist
“A big smile of a book…a blunt, often revealing memoir of someone finding comfort in themselves…Sure to be a summer breakout.” —Chicago Tribune
“There are too few narratives written by and for Black trans people, and with I Have Always Been Me, Precious Brady-Davis offers a moving memoir that powerfully serves as a guide through hardship toward healing so we can finally arrive at love.” —Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty
“Precious’s story is as layered as the fabric of this country. It’s a slice of Americana that we rarely are served. Heartbreaking as it is heartwarming, there is a familiarity in the simple pleasures of a working class upbringing, rattled by the complicated experiences of being transgender and mixed race in a house full of religion. Precious tells her story with fluidity and vulnerability. I found myself rooting for little Precious from the opening pages and celebrating with her as she found her light. This memoir is full of fun, inspiring, and oh so needed.” —Tiq Milan, writer, media maker, and trans rights advocate
“Precious’s traumatic experiences are told with caring vulnerability. Through her persistence, she found her path to redemption and self-actualization.” —Geena Rocero, supermodel, TED speaker, transgender advocate, and producer
“Precious Brady-Davis’s I Have Always Been Me is a gift to the reader and the world. Excavating the trauma, joy, community building, and love of her own life, Precious leaves us a blueprint for how to imagine and build a life full of humor, transformation, faith, and jewels! She leaves you smiling with tales of her exuberance for life even in the face of unrelenting pain. In a time when we are still so new to self-determined and self-crafted narratives of transness, Precious’s story is an essential offering. I know that trans people will look to Precious and this book for generations to find pieces of our history, lessons for life, and possibilities for the future.” —Chase Strangio, ACLU attorney
Precious Brady-Davis is an award-winning diversity advocate, communications professional, and public speaker. She currently serves as the associate regional communications director at the Sierra Club. She served for three years as the assistant director of diversity recruitment initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, her alma mater, implementing the campus-wide diversity initiative and providing leadership and oversight of national diversity recruitment and inclusion policy initiatives. She also served as the youth outreach coordinator at the Center on Halsted, the largest LGBTQ community center in the Midwest. During Precious’s tenure, she launched a $1.6 million CDC HIV prevention grant, which provided outreach, education, youth programming, and testing services to over three thousand young African American and Latinx gay, bi, and trans youth. Precious is married to Myles Brady and lives in Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago, where they are raising their daughter, Zayn. In her free time, she enjoys online shoe shopping, travel, and fine dining with friends. For more information visit www.preciousbradydavis.com.