Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS Precious Brady-Davis has arrived
by Angelique Smith
2021-06-18

This article shared 1445 times since Fri Jun 18, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Recently honored by Mayor Lightfoot and the LGBTQ Advisory Council as a community leader who has "helped build the foundation for a more welcoming, equitable and inclusive Chicago," Precious Brady-Davis wants to do it all. She is a trans advocate, career woman, wife, mother, consulting producer for an HBO docuseries and an activist for the environment with future public office aspirations.

Windy City Times previewed her unapologetic, heartfelt memoir—I Have Always Been Me—and spoke with Brady-Davis on growing up in and out of foster care, being present and centered, and the ability to transform into something new through our experiences.

Windy City Times: How have the pandemic and quarantine been for you?

Precious Brady-Davis: I was finishing up the book, so it was such an introspective time, as we were dealing with the pandemic and I was excavating my life. There was a silver lining in it for me, that I really got to create space to finish writing the book. But also, I had a baby at home and as a working parent not having child care, we didn't send her to daycare because we wanted to be safe. And we didn't want to have a nanny or an au pair in the home because of COVID; it was certainly a dance.

WCT: It's been quite a time.

PB-D: So grateful to have a wonderful partner who I get to do life with. It was overwhelming at times, but it was also a blessing because I got to witness so many developmental moments with my little baby girl, Zayn. Myles and I got to witness so many milestones.

WCT: How has motherhood changed you?

PB-D: Motherhood has changed me in ways I never thought possible; sacrifice is at the core of your life. It has extended the amount of love and capacity that I thought I possessed and shown me the depth to which caring for another person can expand the borders of who you are. Being a parent really shows you what matters the most in life and that's family. Family is everything.

WCT: What made you want to share your story?

PB-D: I really wanted to make sure that there were places in my life that were restored before I could even enter into being a caretaker. My whole life, I have dealt with a lot of trauma and I think in order to move on with my life, I wanted to be completely free.

WCT: How so?

PB-D: I grew up in a time in which I was told that, "children are seen and not heard" and "the secrets that are said in this house, stay here." I felt that those secrets were creating intergenerational trauma that was passed down to me. I wanted to break that cycle of trauma. Now, the curse is broken — there are no more secrets. My life is rooted in a place of divine healing and that chapter of my life is closed.

WCT: Confronting painful subjects can sometimes be freeing.

PB-D: I also talk about being a foster kid in the book. Foster kids have so many disadvantages when it comes to housing, education and when it comes to looking for a place to belong in the world. For years, I struggled to find a place for myself in the world. This book is a chance for a young person to see that love is possible. I think that so many marginalized young people have the experience of not feeling love. My story is rooted in finding oneself and trusting in the power of your own vision for your life when there is nothing created for you.

WCT: Has the book opened conversations or helped heal rifts with your family?

PB-D: One of the things that I'm most proud of out of this book is, there's now an open line of communication with my biological mother. At the beginning of writing this book, I was still harboring feelings of resentment of being given up. But as I started writing, I felt like I saw her. I saw the ways in which she experienced the intergenerational trauma that was top down for her.

WCT: How did you come up with the title of the book?

PB-D: "I've always been me" is a declarative statement of celebration. It is a statement of standing in my truth. This book is really about centering Precious Brady-Davis. I feel it has really facilitated some hard conversations with members of my family that I think have been extremely restorative to me and them.

WCT: What do you hope this book does?

PB-D: As we see the rise of trans visibility across the United States and around the world, folks see transness and individuals who are gender-nonconforming as some sort of new phenomena, and that is not true. We have a great history that was erased.

WCT: Very true.

PB-D: From as long as I can remember, from turning a picnic table into a stage, tying a blanket around my waist, and holler singing Whitney Houston, I have always been a gender non-conforming trans being. I want people to see that there isn't just one moment in our life when we arrive. We need various pieces to reach the fullness of our identity, as we grow up, as we morph into the fullness of our existence. This is who I always have been.

WCT: There was a line in the book that read, "a new part of me was unfolding but I was losing a part of myself too." What was that in reference to?

PB-D: That reference is specifically in regards to drag performance. While drag was a vehicle in which various facets of my identity came forward, I felt the nature of nightlife and the performance of being a character was taxing. At that time, I was performing in Boystown, which is a predominantly white, gay neighborhood. To be a Black queen who is constantly forced to perform, there can be a minstrel aspect.

WCT: Oh, for sure.

PB-D: In that, people prescribe to you who you need to be, especially when you're a Black queen. They tell you what kind of music you need to perform and how you need to look, and they don't want you to perform R&B. They just want you to perform pop music and that was exhausting because I've always been inspired by great women of soul like Diana Ross. I felt like the pressure of nightlife and it not being an inclusive community literally sucked the soul out of me.

WCT: It's interesting because there's a lot of Chicago gay nightlife nostalgia in the book, like dollar drink night at Spin, but it's definitely bittersweet as you touch on the racism and classism of Boystown and the tokenization that you experienced in what should have been safe LGBTQ spaces, whether in the clubs or in your career.

PB-D: I feel extremely conflicted about that time. On the positive side, I celebrate that time because I did what I came to Chicago to do: to be a performer and to create a name for myself. I probably performed for a good decade — that's a great career for a queen.

WCT: Yes.

PB-D: The other systemic things I had to navigate, when you talk about the pieces that were stealing my soul away for me, it was the racism, it was the Take Back Boystown campaign that attempted to eradicate the trans and queer youth who came to Boystown to seek vital services from The Center on Halsted and Howard Brown. It was being told that there could only be one Black queen in a show; not being paid what we're worth and being pitted against each other as queens of color.

WCT: Indeed.

PB-D: That's why I'm so proud of those girls of the Chicago Black Drag Council last summer who really stood up and said there needs to be some systemic changes here in the ways in which we recognize performers, and who's getting booked at these clubs.

WCT: The book focuses a lot on your relationship with spirituality and religion: how it made you feel safe and able to find your voice, but was also used against you by family. Tell us more about how you reconcile those conflicts between your sexuality and your faith.

PB-D: It took me many years to reconcile my faith and sexuality. It was an LGBT literature course that really created that first place of alignment within myself. Seeing the history of LGBTQ folks and that LGBTQ identity can intersect with spirituality, that was life-affirming. But, spirit is in everything — it's me walking down the street and looking up at the sun, thinking about my place in this global world. It's me connecting with a piece of art, me connecting with another person, it's me closing my eyes and taking a breath and centering myself.

WCT: Wow, yes.

PB-D: I think it's really evolved to my identity. I hope other people see that as they read the book, that the transformations in the book, that is my spirituality. It's unfolding a new layer of myself. Sometimes it's letting something go. Or becoming a new iteration of myself. Over the years, it has been becoming attuned to self that has really set me free. That I don't have a prescribed spirituality, it is me. I am, I am, I am.

I Have Always Been Me: A Memoir by Precious Brady-Davis (TOPPLE Books) is available for pre-orders at www.amazon.com/dp/1542044308/ and will be released in July 2021.


This article shared 1445 times since Fri Jun 18, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: World AIDS Day, 'Benedetta,' books, wine in a can
2021-11-26
—World AIDS Day event at Belmont Harbor: —The Chicago Parks Foundation will hold a World AIDS Day event on Dec. 1, 9-10:30 a.m., at the Belmont Harbor Yacht Club. Antonio King, LGBTQ health and outreach liaison ...


Gay News

Designer and entrepreneur Kiki Bryant discusses future of 'Lollipop Lola'
2021-11-26
On Jan. 21, 2021, Kiki Bryant set a $2,000 fundraising goal on Kiva.org to launch a children's doll based on her original book character, Lollipop Lola. The goal was met that same day. "That was a ...


Gay News

House of Chanel creates charitable foundation to promote community service across ballroom scene, beyond
2021-11-24
Almost 50 years after the founding of House of Chanel, the ballroom house is creating the Chanel Cares Charitable Foundation to give back to the community. The foundation will organize community engagement projects, including an upcoming ...


Gay News

Community mourns the losses of transgender people, celebrates the living at TDOR event
2021-11-23
During the Trans Day of Remembrance/Resilience (TDOR) on Nov. 20, community members gathered for a town hall and memorial to remember the losses and lives of trans people in Chicago and beyond. Hosted by Brave Space ...


Gay News

The National Black Justice Coalition mourns death of Angel Naira
2021-11-23
--From a press release - ALIQUIPPA, PA — The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) mourns the death of Angel Naira, a 36-year-old Black transgender woman. Naira was shot to death in her home in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, on November 11, 2021. She ...


Gay News

Missouri district returning LGBTQ+ books to high school libraries
2021-11-23
In Missouri, the North Kansas City School district said it would return two books exploring LGBTQ+ themes to its high school libraries following public outcry, The Hill noted. The district announced its plans to reshelve All ...


Gay News

Christina Kahrl, Monica Roberts named to LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame
2021-11-22
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 22, 2021) — Today, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced that BaseballProspectus.com co-founder and San Francisco Chronicle sports editor Christina Kahrl and TransGriot founder Monica Roberts ...


Gay News

NATIONAL N.Y. governor, GLSEN report, flower shop, political items
2021-11-21
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a pair of LGBTQ-related bills aimed at protecting sex-trafficking survivors as well as requiring utility and telephone companies to respect customers' preferred pronouns, The New York Post reported. One of ...


Gay News

Activist projects names of trans dead on Netflix HQ
2021-11-21
--From a press release - LOS GATOS — On the Trans Day of Remembrance, the names of trans people who died this year were projected onto Netflix's Silicon Valley headquarters. The words of light were visible from Winchester Boulevard, over the ...


Gay News

DNC makes statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance
2021-11-20
--From a Democratic National Committee press release - DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC LGBTQ Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes released the following statement to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20): "This Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the lives lost due to anti-trans ...


Gay News

NBJC commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance in what may be deadliest year
2021-11-20
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — Since January of 2021, at least 46 transgender or gender-nonconforming/non-binary people in the United States have had their lives taken from them - putting 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on ...


Gay News

Brave Space Alliance, partners plan Memorial Luncheon, Town Hall on trans violence
2021-11-19
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — Nov. 19, 2021 — Brave Space Alliance and other community partner organizations will host a memorial luncheon and town hall to honor the memory of transgender people who have been murdered over the ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ equality in nine Illinois municipalities detailed in Human Rights Campaign Index
2021-11-18
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The ...


Gay News

CTA's Red-Purple Bypass at Belmont to go into service Nov. 19
2021-11-18
The Chicago Transit Authority announced the new Red-Purple Bypass—the first major improvement for CTA customers as part of the historic $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project—will go into service on the Brown ...


Gay News

THEATER AstonRep's 'God of Carnage' through Dec. 12
2021-11-17
AstonRep Theatre Company is running a revival of Yasmina Reza's frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and co-directed by directed by Derek Bertelsen and Robert Tobin. God of Carnage is running through ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.