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I Have Always Been Me: A Memoir

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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, 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.


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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, 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.

30 review for I Have Always Been Me: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I picked this book as one of my Amazon Prime First Reads for June. A big thank you to Amazon for giving us two free reads this month. I found this book quite confusing at times. The first half - most of the author's childhood - was way too focused on their religious influences during childhood (dull dull dull - sorry!) and their complicated family influences (in and out of care and passed around the various relatives after their mother was absolutely incapable of looking after herself, let alone I picked this book as one of my Amazon Prime First Reads for June. A big thank you to Amazon for giving us two free reads this month. I found this book quite confusing at times. The first half - most of the author's childhood - was way too focused on their religious influences during childhood (dull dull dull - sorry!) and their complicated family influences (in and out of care and passed around the various relatives after their mother was absolutely incapable of looking after herself, let alone her children). Once they moved to college and started their drag career, I found it much more interesting. I've previously read the autobiographies of two other current or ex drag artists and I want to seriously thank Precious for being a lot more discreet about her love life than Amrou al-Khadi and Crystal Rassmussen, both of whom went into way more anatomical detail than I really wanted to know and left me feeling a bit queasy at times. Then everything seems to accelerate and I was left thinking "How did that happen?" Did I turn over two pages (metaphorically - it's a kindle) and miss the WHY of Precious's decision to transition? It all just leapt ahead and my head was spinning. It's a big step from loving to dress in women's clothes, making a career and an income from drag, and actually becoming a woman. I felt that the rationale behind such a major decision had been skipped over. I also felt that her romance with her husband - a trans man - and the subsequent birth of their child (hubby carried the baby) was very inspiring but also very rushed on the page. I don't want to be nosy or prurient, but I did find myself thinking 'Wow' and wondering how they took on such an amazing challenge. I didn't want the anatomical details of quite how they achieved that, but I was left with a ton of questions in my mind. Precious is gorgeous and has done amazing work as a trans activist. I'm sure she's an inspiration to many people who find themselves in similar situations, but I do wish more of the book had been set in her life post-transition and less in her childhood.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maria Park

    Triumphal Journey through Transition Precious Brady-Davis writes with wisdom beyond her years. What an honest, insightful, emotional revealing memoir! I was honored to experience her journey. Tackling the taboos of being genderqueer in the Black community, Precious adroitly draws us into the life of a child growing up as a minority in an ultra Christian environment. I especially appreciated the honesty of Precious' conflicting feelings about her faith and her gender identity and her eventual resolu Triumphal Journey through Transition Precious Brady-Davis writes with wisdom beyond her years. What an honest, insightful, emotional revealing memoir! I was honored to experience her journey. Tackling the taboos of being genderqueer in the Black community, Precious adroitly draws us into the life of a child growing up as a minority in an ultra Christian environment. I especially appreciated the honesty of Precious' conflicting feelings about her faith and her gender identity and her eventual resolution of the two. For any young person struggling with a gender identity issue, this book will be an inspiration. A guiding light for those feeling trapped by circumstances as to just how far the belief in oneself can be liberating. As well, anyone who desires to be an ally to children, teens, person's of color and those facing gender identity issues, this book is a powerful way to walk a mile in their shoes. Absolutely a must read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    First off, this book should come with a soundtrack. I had so much fun pulling up and listening to all the songs Precious mentions. Secondly, it should also come with a clothing album. She does a great job describing all her beautiful costumes in a way that I feel I could picture all the beautiful colors. Now for the serious part... Wow! She describes her journey in a poignant and classy way. She is a very talented writer. Memoirs are often all over the place and hard to follow, but this one suck First off, this book should come with a soundtrack. I had so much fun pulling up and listening to all the songs Precious mentions. Secondly, it should also come with a clothing album. She does a great job describing all her beautiful costumes in a way that I feel I could picture all the beautiful colors. Now for the serious part... Wow! She describes her journey in a poignant and classy way. She is a very talented writer. Memoirs are often all over the place and hard to follow, but this one sucked me in and commanded my attention the whole way. Thank you so much for the education of what it was like growing up LGBTQ in America. This book has something for everyone- education, empowerment, romance, and conviction. Thank you so much, Amazon, for offering this as a First Read!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Crowley

    I got this book as one of Amazon's first reads, and I was excited for this to be my Pride month read. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the book. At halfway through, I have to call it quits. The biggest reason is because I have no idea what the point of this story is. It sounds like I'm just reading Precious' life story, in chronological order, with no real message that I should be getting out of it. Each chapter, there are names dropped and details mentioned and the most frequent thought I h I got this book as one of Amazon's first reads, and I was excited for this to be my Pride month read. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the book. At halfway through, I have to call it quits. The biggest reason is because I have no idea what the point of this story is. It sounds like I'm just reading Precious' life story, in chronological order, with no real message that I should be getting out of it. Each chapter, there are names dropped and details mentioned and the most frequent thought I had was, "Why is she telling me this? What am I supposed to get out of that event? Is there something I'm supposed to learn? Is the message going over my head?" After reaching the halfway mark, I realized, the author isn't trying to teach me anything. She is just telling us her biography. A memoir is supposed to have an author recounting detailed memories filled with imagery that all come together in some way to teach the reader a specific message. A biography is a story about someone's life. This book is a biography. I wasn't being taught anything, except perhaps the lived experience of a specific biracial, trans woman. But what is it about Precious that should make me want to read about her life? What sets her apart? What makes her different? And most of all, what is the takeaway that I should get from her story? I wasn't getting anything. My biggest gripe is that the writing tells me a lot, but it doesn't show me anything. Every story is told like a biography. To paraphrase the writing style, "I was born here. I had this many siblings. I did this. And then I did this. And my friend told me this, so I did this." There were barely any moments that painted a picture and sparked my imagination about what was going on. It was all too this happened, then this happened. Show me a story; don't tell it to me. And that ties right into me not being sure what to take away. By showing a story, I can get the tone, themes, and motifs the author is trying to convey to me. I can feel what the memoirist feels, experience what she experiences. Instead, it was like I was simply listening to her tell me about her life. And at this point, I have to say, "Gurl, it's been a nice chat, but I've got to go!"

  5. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Lloyd

    I was really intrigued by the blurb of this book but I couldn't finish it as the writing style was just not for me. It felt like some seemingly important things were brushed over so quickly I had to re-read sections several times to make sure I hadn't somehow skipped a part, meanwhile in other places there were pages of name-dropping that made very little sense to me. I was really intrigued by the blurb of this book but I couldn't finish it as the writing style was just not for me. It felt like some seemingly important things were brushed over so quickly I had to re-read sections several times to make sure I hadn't somehow skipped a part, meanwhile in other places there were pages of name-dropping that made very little sense to me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lucy-Bookworm

    I wasn’t really familiar with Precious Brady-Davis prior to reading this book. The book was honest, and I particularly appreciated the way that her faith was discussed – it’s so easy for people to say things like “just don’t go to church then” but it’s not that easy if you have a strong faith! The book had moments of humour but was also a bit confusing at times – the first part focussed on the childhood & it was hard at times to work out who was who (parents, grandparents, foster carers, siblings I wasn’t really familiar with Precious Brady-Davis prior to reading this book. The book was honest, and I particularly appreciated the way that her faith was discussed – it’s so easy for people to say things like “just don’t go to church then” but it’s not that easy if you have a strong faith! The book had moments of humour but was also a bit confusing at times – the first part focussed on the childhood & it was hard at times to work out who was who (parents, grandparents, foster carers, siblings, etc), but I guess this reflected the chaotic childhood! Things were much easier to follow once we got onto the college/ drag queen experience. I was disappointed that the ending was so rushed and would have liked to hear more about the decision to transition… This seemed a particularly huge jump from the previous chapters! Overall, I am pleased that I read the book & it definitely makes you think about identity and belonging. I am sure this is a book that will help people to understand a little more what it might be like to grow up knowing that you are different but not quite having the words to explain why. It might help young trans people who are trying to understand how they fit in the world, or perhaps their families who are trying to adjust to a new reality. Note: I received this book as one of my Amazon Prime First Reads for June.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah May

    Here I am, yet again, struggling with how to review a memoir. I really appreciate how open and honest Precious Brady-Davis is with her story, and I loved hearing about how drag helped her live as her authentic self. I didn't know Precious before reading this memoir, or even know of her, and I do think that affected my reading experience in that the little catchphrases she put in that are obviously very 'her', took me out sometimes because she'd say them in the middle of something serious (probabl Here I am, yet again, struggling with how to review a memoir. I really appreciate how open and honest Precious Brady-Davis is with her story, and I loved hearing about how drag helped her live as her authentic self. I didn't know Precious before reading this memoir, or even know of her, and I do think that affected my reading experience in that the little catchphrases she put in that are obviously very 'her', took me out sometimes because she'd say them in the middle of something serious (probably to lighten the tension, which I imagine she needed to do for herself because a lot of this memoir is heavy) and it always startled me a little. I'd say, though, that that doesn't take away from how well written and interesting this memoir is. Precious kept some events to herself, only alluding to them in the book, and I think it made me feel even more strongly towards her. She's a passionate and likeable person and the work she has done is really admirable. Seeing the dark side of the drag scene was really interesting as well. I think, in the age of Drag Race, a lot of people forget that these Queens get massively taken advantage of in the bars and clubs they work in in a lot of cities. I'm really glad I chose this as my Kindle First pick this month, and also that I read it straight away! I do recommend this one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    Enlightening read 3.5 stars I don’t usually read memoirs (not enough dragons and magic in them for me) but i saw this on first reads and I have been trying to read new genres. I usually comment on the plot and characters which i don’t feel I can do here since the characters are real people and the plot is someone’s life story, but I will try to leave an honest review. Her story was enlightening in many ways and really made me think about identity and belonging. The author discusses gender identit Enlightening read 3.5 stars I don’t usually read memoirs (not enough dragons and magic in them for me) but i saw this on first reads and I have been trying to read new genres. I usually comment on the plot and characters which i don’t feel I can do here since the characters are real people and the plot is someone’s life story, but I will try to leave an honest review. Her story was enlightening in many ways and really made me think about identity and belonging. The author discusses gender identity and sexuality and how that conflicted with her religious beliefs. She also discusses race, poverty, family and community at various points throughout the book and it made me reflect on how all these things contribute to your identity. The story was well written and was easy to read, it was also very funny at times and made me laugh out loud. I also liked the inclusion of the photographs, though in my ebook they were all together at the end of chapter 7. I understand that in a physical book you can easily see photo pages and flick to them as you are reading but this isn’t obvious or easy with an ebook so it would have been nice to have a couple of photos at the end of each chapter. There were a few small things that brought the rating down for me: there were a lot of people mentioned in the book, understandable since it’s a life story and many people have impact on your life over the years, but it became confusing and when someone was mentioned a second time I couldn’t remember who they were. the long chapters were also a negative point, I prefer shorter chapters so I can read one in during my breaks in the day. Overall I enjoyed this book, I don’t think I will be reading too many memoirs as they aren’t my preferred genre but I am glad I read this one

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Leaving off with Chapter 3 Church Offers a Glimpse of Joy

  10. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Such an important story Everyone should read this memoir to help them understand what it’s like for young trans people who are trying to love their truth. To see everyone treat others with acceptance and respect could be helped when people read this story of beauty and resilience.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    Definitely worth the read, but you do have to trudge through ranting that doesn’t have a place in the story, and some confusing story beats that are glossed over. Some of it reads like a list of accomplishments, which were the parts that seriously dragged and made the reading experience hard to get through. Almost the entire last quarter of the novel I skimmed through for that reason. But, the beginning is sublime, and same with the early days in drag- worth it for these moments alone.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Precious has an amazing voice and she's lead an amazing life. One thing I liked about the book was also a drawback: she is so relentlessly positive in her narrative arc, that I think we lose a little bit of her struggle. Precious speaks only tangentially about the issues she faces as a transgender person of color, but other than speaking about Myles, her husband's experience, in the ER, there is not a sense of these issues. One thing I struggled with was how non-introspective and unwilling Preci Precious has an amazing voice and she's lead an amazing life. One thing I liked about the book was also a drawback: she is so relentlessly positive in her narrative arc, that I think we lose a little bit of her struggle. Precious speaks only tangentially about the issues she faces as a transgender person of color, but other than speaking about Myles, her husband's experience, in the ER, there is not a sense of these issues. One thing I struggled with was how non-introspective and unwilling Precious was to consider that her grandfather was likely an abuser. It seems like Precious was still not able to see how others may have experienced her grandfather. Overall, I think this a remarkable memoir about a most interesting life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Although I have a lot of respect for Precious Brady-Davis and all that she had overcome and all that she has accomplished, I was rather bored through much of the book with the "I did this" and "I did that" method of telling her story. Although I have a lot of respect for Precious Brady-Davis and all that she had overcome and all that she has accomplished, I was rather bored through much of the book with the "I did this" and "I did that" method of telling her story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jann

    Though this may be a worthwhile book for some it did not hold my interest. I read halfway through the book hoping to get into it but decided I had too many things I’d rather be doing with my time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I just wish there was a little more substance in this memoir. Felt a little rushed and surface level

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patsy

    While I am totally empathetic to Precious's story, I was personally turned off by the graphic sexual descriptions of the porn she discovered while young and trying to find her identity. It's a personal trigger of my past that I don't care to hear about. However, I will say that the extreme pentacostalism she was exposed to while young was unfortunate. She describes her struggles with her confusion about that church very well. She is also an excellent writer, and I think any person who is questioni While I am totally empathetic to Precious's story, I was personally turned off by the graphic sexual descriptions of the porn she discovered while young and trying to find her identity. It's a personal trigger of my past that I don't care to hear about. However, I will say that the extreme pentacostalism she was exposed to while young was unfortunate. She describes her struggles with her confusion about that church very well. She is also an excellent writer, and I think any person who is questioning their sexuality of origin or is trying to transition would benefit greatly from her story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robin H. Falta

    I am about half way through this book and just can't waste my time finishing it. It is so not what I expected. I don't care about church or religion I wanted to know about he/she. I am about half way through this book and just can't waste my time finishing it. It is so not what I expected. I don't care about church or religion I wanted to know about he/she.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Sumner

    I would give this book more like a 3.5 but I was so impressed by the vulnerability she allowed while writing about her faith that I decided on 4 stars. It’s very hard to put into words how you can simultaneously love something beyond reason (in her case the Pentecostal church) while suffering so deeply and repeatedly at the hands of an institution that is supposed to love and protect you. I felt like she explained her emotions very well. People have criticized her confusing family tree but as so I would give this book more like a 3.5 but I was so impressed by the vulnerability she allowed while writing about her faith that I decided on 4 stars. It’s very hard to put into words how you can simultaneously love something beyond reason (in her case the Pentecostal church) while suffering so deeply and repeatedly at the hands of an institution that is supposed to love and protect you. I felt like she explained her emotions very well. People have criticized her confusing family tree but as someone who has had 3 step mothers, 1 step father and 3 men who lived with my mom as I was growing up, plus 4 biological siblings and a total of 22 step/half/ex-step siblings- sometimes you just cannot explain it. First of all, it’s boring to anyone but you. Second, keeping the relationships straight is almost impossible for anyone but you. Third, it would have taken the whole damn book for her to paint the complete picture of all the relationships and how she got to living with this person or that person etc. I thought she did a great job of writing about her family members (including foster family) who were pertinent to the story of her sexuality, gender and transition while glossing over those relatives and relationships that wouldn’t further the story. I have read tons of autobiographies and although this is not even close to the most interesting ones I’ve read, I feel that there is definitely a HUGE space that needs to be filled by black queer women and men when it comes to memoirs. I imagine that people who grew up or are currently growing up in the Pentecostal church (I wasn’t really raised with religion so it was hard for me to relate) will understand more about what she faced and conquered and I’m really glad this book is out there for people who are facing similar problems or conundrums. I would like to add that I noticed in the reviews that many people said they didn’t understand how she jumped from a gay man to her transition but I think all of those reviewers missed the point! Her ENTIRE life she felt like a girl, she wanted to be a girl, she idolized women and fantasized about being women (Tina Turner and her sister Nina are two oft talked about women she wanted to emulate). But she didn’t have vocabulary for that considering the way she was raised and didn’t even know trans people existed til she was older. All she knew as a child was that she was a feminine boy and then OTHER PEOPLE told her she was a gay boy and then a gay man. Then OTHER PEOPLE told her she was a gay man who dresses in drag. The whole book is her being told who she is by the world and it wasn’t until she realized that in her heart she is a straight woman (I know that’s not exactly the same as who Precious is because I know she is queer and not straight but she lives as basically a straight woman) that she finally transitioned. I guess I’m just confused about where people got the idea that she simply transitioned one day. Her whole life was one long transition. I know she didn’t explicitly say that, but I felt it was quite clear that she was telling the story of a lifelong journey to her transition.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    I'm not normally interested in non-fiction, biographies, or memoirs at all (I generally prefer the escapism of fantasy/science fiction), but this came up on Prime Reads just after I finished watching the TV series "Pose" so thought I'd give it a go even though I hadn't actually heard of Precious Brady-Davis before. It's very different to the kind of books I normally read, and the style/tone of writing is pretty conversational/casual, which at first I didn't love (did I mention I'm really not a fa I'm not normally interested in non-fiction, biographies, or memoirs at all (I generally prefer the escapism of fantasy/science fiction), but this came up on Prime Reads just after I finished watching the TV series "Pose" so thought I'd give it a go even though I hadn't actually heard of Precious Brady-Davis before. It's very different to the kind of books I normally read, and the style/tone of writing is pretty conversational/casual, which at first I didn't love (did I mention I'm really not a fan of memoirs?), but overtime it starts to feel a little like she's talking to you in person, which helps reveal more of her personality, and brings you closer to her as her story progresses. Of course, this memoir is a lot more structured than some stranger just recounting their life story on a park bench; it doesn't feel like she rambles and it does follow a chronological timeline from her early years to more recent past. Her upbringing was very different to mine, (I actually struggled to relate to the parts about her religious upbringing and faith), but learning about someone whose life has been so different to my own really opened my eyes in lots of different ways, so I'm really glad I read this book. Learning about the many, different hardships that she's overcome in her life, and how she's channeled her own negative experiences and traumas into compassion and determination to help others (especially those who are typically marginalised) was inspiring. Because of the style of writing, and because, by then, you've heard some of what it's taken for her to get to that point, when you do get to the happier moments of Precious' story, I actually found myself celebrating those "wins" with her, and feeling genuinely happy for her, as if she were a friend. On a very minor point, I also appreciated the references to different people who've appeared on Ru Paul's Drag Race, as I'm a very recent convert! Overall, I'm very glad I read it, and it's made me interested to find out more about her now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    I chose this as a "bonus" book from Amazon Prime (July 2021?) and just got around to finishing it. I'm of two minds: Precious Brady-Davis has a compelling, inspirational story that should be told. I can actually imagine her story as a biopic, which would reach many more people, I think. She shows us the humanity in all people, even the most marginalized. I admire her bravery and what she calls her "fierceness." We all benefit from understanding other people's stories. We need more kindness in the I chose this as a "bonus" book from Amazon Prime (July 2021?) and just got around to finishing it. I'm of two minds: Precious Brady-Davis has a compelling, inspirational story that should be told. I can actually imagine her story as a biopic, which would reach many more people, I think. She shows us the humanity in all people, even the most marginalized. I admire her bravery and what she calls her "fierceness." We all benefit from understanding other people's stories. We need more kindness in the world, more support, more acceptance. On the other hand, this book needs some serious editing. Yes, she writes with her heart. She code-switches, so that her narrative matches the situation she's describing. However, there is little in terms of transition between languages, making for a somewhat jarring storytelling experience. There's also some vocabulary misuse as well. ("Lingual" does not mean "linguistic," for example. "In tow," which she misuses more than once, means being pulled behind, for another example.) There's also a ton of description, especially about clothes, hair, makeup and footwear. This is fun for some people, and it's important to Ms. Brady-Davis. But it puts those details on the same level as her experiences: the religious upbringing, the racism, the homophobia, the family situations she has to confront. To my mind, these are much more serious issues that need to be shared. That's about it. I wish her well, and hope to hear more about her achievements in the future.

  21. 4 out of 5

    R.J. Sorrento

    Captivating memoir overall. I wasn’t familiar with Precious Brady Davis until I chose this book as an Amazon Prime First Reads. What I loved: reading about her activism in Chicago and her honesty about the struggle she had in the gay white neighborhood of Boystown. There is often a misconception that the LGBTQ community is a cohesive unit, but there is a lot of racial and anti-trans discrimination within, and I’m glad Davis addressed this in her memoir. She also kept searching for new job positi Captivating memoir overall. I wasn’t familiar with Precious Brady Davis until I chose this book as an Amazon Prime First Reads. What I loved: reading about her activism in Chicago and her honesty about the struggle she had in the gay white neighborhood of Boystown. There is often a misconception that the LGBTQ community is a cohesive unit, but there is a lot of racial and anti-trans discrimination within, and I’m glad Davis addressed this in her memoir. She also kept searching for new job positions when a career didn’t serve her anymore which is not an easy thing to do. I also adored her love story and marriage to Myles. What a beautiful relationship. My only critique is I wished that the book focused more on her adult life and that less time was spent on childhood (or if those two topics could have been split into two books). Her childhood was rough (foster care, moving from house to house within her family) and she had been raised under strict Pentecostal rules after a certain point. I understand explaining what shaped her and pushed her to a life of advocacy, but it took up the majority of the book, and I think the memoir would have benefited from a more focused approach. That’s an editing/publishing critique rather than writing issue, however, and I hope Precious writes more books in the future because she has plenty to share that the world can benefit from.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Precious Brady-Davis is a trans advocate who uses this memoir to tell the story of her childhood and coming of age. Mixed in the telling are tidbits that can encourage but not preach to readers, like the value of a name, the importance of being true to yourself and the need for all of us to advocate. I had not heard of Mrs. Brady-Davis before I read this book. I appreciated her candor and the fact that she didn't preach. I'm also glad she shared her faith journey. The church has a lot to learn a Precious Brady-Davis is a trans advocate who uses this memoir to tell the story of her childhood and coming of age. Mixed in the telling are tidbits that can encourage but not preach to readers, like the value of a name, the importance of being true to yourself and the need for all of us to advocate. I had not heard of Mrs. Brady-Davis before I read this book. I appreciated her candor and the fact that she didn't preach. I'm also glad she shared her faith journey. The church has a lot to learn about accepting and loving others. While mostly interesting, the book was boring in places. I really enjoyed the first part, but then she spent a lot of pages discussing her drag queen experience and mushed almost a decade into two chapters at the end. I would have liked to hear more about the transitioning process and her experience as a woman. This summary fits the book: it's an outreach for the marginalized, a song of self-reliance and pride, and an invitation to join in the chorus.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    There's a lot to love about Precious and her story so I'm not sure where to even begin. Think growing up part Augusten Burroughs part Mariah Carey in early 2000s Nebraska, told in a shared narrative that readers from any background can identify with. It was a refreshingly human read--struggle didn't define Precious, and it wasn't what fueled her success, it was merely part of how she got here. This isn't your typical coming-of-age through self discovery memoir, but instead more of a reflection o There's a lot to love about Precious and her story so I'm not sure where to even begin. Think growing up part Augusten Burroughs part Mariah Carey in early 2000s Nebraska, told in a shared narrative that readers from any background can identify with. It was a refreshingly human read--struggle didn't define Precious, and it wasn't what fueled her success, it was merely part of how she got here. This isn't your typical coming-of-age through self discovery memoir, but instead more of a reflection on events and opportunities that encouraged the deeper learning required to live life authentically. A Jewel of a read, I hope it becomes the first part of a larger anthology someday.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    An interesting insight into Precious' life and the struggles she went through both as a closeted child in an extremely religious atmosphere and her life post-transition. I would say the pacing is a little strange. The first half of the book spent so much time going into detail with Precious' family connections, her high school years, living in a foster home, all very interesting and important to her story but the second half, as a drag performer and transitioning felt so condensed, a little rushe An interesting insight into Precious' life and the struggles she went through both as a closeted child in an extremely religious atmosphere and her life post-transition. I would say the pacing is a little strange. The first half of the book spent so much time going into detail with Precious' family connections, her high school years, living in a foster home, all very interesting and important to her story but the second half, as a drag performer and transitioning felt so condensed, a little rushed, which is a shame because it was so interesting to read about. Overall I'd say this is worth a read but I just wish the pacing had been more consistent throughout.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I chose this book as one of my Amazon First Reads for June in order to push myself out of my content comfort zone and expand my worldview. I have a lot of respect for Precious Davis and this beautifully written book. Although I was interested most of the way through, it took me a while to finish the second half… I need suspense, which memoirs typically don’t cater to. Want to save this quote from Savannah Guthrie: “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have beha I chose this book as one of my Amazon First Reads for June in order to push myself out of my content comfort zone and expand my worldview. I have a lot of respect for Precious Davis and this beautifully written book. Although I was interested most of the way through, it took me a while to finish the second half… I need suspense, which memoirs typically don’t cater to. Want to save this quote from Savannah Guthrie: “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen Leafe

    Interesting read I enjoyed this book. I am pleased that she finally has the ability to live her life how she chooses. This would be an educational read for those who cannot understand people who don’t fit neatly into a box made by society. She does a wonderful job by telling her story that we are really all the same, searching for who we are and where we belong in the world. I wish everyone could accept others for how they act rather than the color of their skin or who they choose to love.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Classy telling of growth and finding oneself Picked as a free read from Amazon in June because I was thrilled to see a memoir from a former co-worker (college desk job) and read some familiar names of shared acquaintances. Precious crafted a very well told story of growth and experience in so many senses. She did a great job covering a lot of ground and in allowing herself to be vulnerable and open, while respecting privacy of others. It kept me very interested and I am happy to recommend this bo Classy telling of growth and finding oneself Picked as a free read from Amazon in June because I was thrilled to see a memoir from a former co-worker (college desk job) and read some familiar names of shared acquaintances. Precious crafted a very well told story of growth and experience in so many senses. She did a great job covering a lot of ground and in allowing herself to be vulnerable and open, while respecting privacy of others. It kept me very interested and I am happy to recommend this book to others! CONGRATULATIONS, PRECIOUS!

  28. 4 out of 5

    kaye wolf

    I thought the story was interesting but got bogged down with so much name dropping. Perhaps I misunderstood the intended audience and the book was geared to the transgender drag queen community other than those readers wanting to learn about the transgender community. The editor should have kept the story on tract by eliminating the constant references to specific drag queen entertainers, competitors, acts, make up artists and clubs. The obstacles overcome to find peace within oneself should no I thought the story was interesting but got bogged down with so much name dropping. Perhaps I misunderstood the intended audience and the book was geared to the transgender drag queen community other than those readers wanting to learn about the transgender community. The editor should have kept the story on tract by eliminating the constant references to specific drag queen entertainers, competitors, acts, make up artists and clubs. The obstacles overcome to find peace within oneself should not have been blurred with who knows who. Interesting read otherwise.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was a great read, but I have no idea who Precious is, nor most of the people in the book. I read it because I was compelled to hear her story of challenging times growing up. Overall, it was very interesting, although it jumped around a bit and could get confusing to follow. I think there is an assumption that most people already know who she and her husband are, and so understand the story better than I did. I think some of the really important elements were possibly glossed over because o This was a great read, but I have no idea who Precious is, nor most of the people in the book. I read it because I was compelled to hear her story of challenging times growing up. Overall, it was very interesting, although it jumped around a bit and could get confusing to follow. I think there is an assumption that most people already know who she and her husband are, and so understand the story better than I did. I think some of the really important elements were possibly glossed over because of that assumption that you already know about her marriage and their groundbreaking pregnancy. Yet these were parts that could have been fleshed out more to me. Precious is gorgeous, and I think it is so important that we listen to the stories of people from diverse backgrounds to ensure that we do not have our blinkers on and assume that everyone should be exactly the same. I wish Precious and her family all the best and continued success in the future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Miss Jacqui

    I was really pleased to see this book on Amazon's first reads selection as something completely different from what they usually offer and inline with LGBTQ+ month. Unfortunately, like other reviewers, I found it somewhat difficult to follow and although we get a good idea of how Precious grew up and the resilience and bravery she has shown as well as the passion she has for human rights I felt something was missing. I think I was expecting a bit more of what Precious was thinking or feeling thr I was really pleased to see this book on Amazon's first reads selection as something completely different from what they usually offer and inline with LGBTQ+ month. Unfortunately, like other reviewers, I found it somewhat difficult to follow and although we get a good idea of how Precious grew up and the resilience and bravery she has shown as well as the passion she has for human rights I felt something was missing. I think I was expecting a bit more of what Precious was thinking or feeling through her life and experiences whereas what we got was more a set of factual occurrences.

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