Precious Brady-Davis released her memoir, I Have Always Been Me, on July 1st – “to heal and find the best version of myself and break the cycle of intergenerational trauma,” she said.
She also wanted to help the next generation through her pitfalls, the obstacles she's overcome and the fame she has achieved.
Brady-Davis, who lives in Hyde Park, has called Chicago home for 13 years. She is married to Myles Brady, and they are raising their daughter, Zayn. Brady-Davis is an award-winning diversity advocate, communications professional, and public speaker. She is the associate regional communications director at the Sierra Club, and formerly was the assistant director of diversity recruitment initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, her alma mater. Brady-Davis also served as the youth outreach coordinator at the Center on Halsted
, where she helped launch a $1.6 million CDC HIV prevention grant, which provided outreach, education, youth programming, and testing services to more than 300,000 young African American and Latinx gay, bi, and trans youth.
Life has not always been so rosy for Brady-Davis.
Born into traumatic circumstances, Brady-Davis was brought up in the Omaha (Neb.) foster care system and the Pentecostal faith. As a biracial, gender-nonconforming kid, she felt displaced and realized that, by coming into her identity, she had a purpose all along. In her memoir, 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, confident, and precious.
“This book is a song for the marginalized, for foster kids, for folks with political ideology that is completely different than mine. I think there are a lot of universal themes that will relate to everyone,” she said. “This book is dedicated to my husband, Myles, and my daughter, Zayn. The book would not be possible without my husband who supported me throughout the writing process. And my daughter, she will inherit everything that I do in this life. Everything I do in this life is for her so that her life can be better.”
Brady-Davis spent two years writing the 236-page memoir, from Topple Books, and an imprint curated by Joey Soloway, the writer, filmmaker, and TV creator whose credits include the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Transparent and I Love Dick.
She said she is “humbled and filled with a sense of accomplishment” seeing the book.
Brady-Davis said her favorite part of the book was recalling her performance career, including describing the drag queens who inspired her, their make-up, their performances on stage, and more. “Drag was such a passion for me. It's such a life away now, but I enjoyed revisiting it,” she said.
Writing about her childhood was “difficult and painful,” she said. But it also “was about closing a door,” on that time. “It was important to do, to help inspire other foster kids and let them know that it is possible to find love, find success, and that you have to follow your heart … that there is hope.”More From … Precious Brady-DavisOn Activism:
“I am intersectional non-profit diva. I believe in supporting issues of intersectional justice. I strongly support LGBTQ equality, dismantling racism, and fighting against climate change.”Precious, Circa 2021:
“I knew that I would find love, but I didn't know in what form. I have always been a mother, to the youth who I worked with, but I didn't know exactly how love would manifest in my life.”On Chicago's Trans Community:
“The Chicago trans community inspired me for so many years. It's what brought me to the (city). Before there was a mass movement for trans equality, there were the girls of the drag pageantry system, who were living their true lives and paving the way in the 1990s.”The World Over The Past Year-Plus:
“The work continues and it's sad to me that it takes the loss of Black men in particular for people to see the plight of, and importance of, justice. We have so far to go to achieving radical and gender quality. My heart grieved at the level of pain that it takes to achieve progress. But progress is happening and that's why I am sharing my story for progress.”The Memoir:
“This book is about sharing my resilience, my truth and the multifaceted nature of my life. I don't have to be just one thing. Also, trans equality is not a new phenomenon. I am standing on the shoulders of those who have come before me.”