CHICAGO — Precious and Myles Brady Davis are a lot of things: activists, writers, speakers. Now, they’ll also be parents.
Myles is 17 weeks pregnant and is due this winter.
The queer power couple announced their pregnancy on Instagram and in a statement to The Advocate, a magazine focused on queer communities. Precious is a trans woman and Myles is transmasculine.
Both have been outspoken advocates for LGBTQ people and people of color. Myles is the director of communications at Equality Illinois; Precious works at the Sierra Club but has worked at the Center on Halsted in the past.
Achieving their dream family has been difficult at times as they’ve feared for Myles’ safety as a pregnant transmasculine person and needed to use in vitro fertilization, which meant months of hoping for a pregnancy only to get negative results. But they always had the support of their friends, family members and community members.
And they always had each other.
“This has been a two-year journey for us,” Myles Brady Davis told Block Club Chicago. “When we both found out that we were pregnant we were actually on our living room floor and we cried together.”
Precious Brady Davis added: “We just kind of sank to our knees holding this test as we saw positive. We just looked at each other and cried and then we kissed each other.”
Parenthood is an experience the Brady Davises have always wanted to share, but their road to pregnancy was not always an easy one.
Precious grew up in a very broken home, she said, and as a trans woman of color she never envisioned she’d have a husband or children. She can remember thinking, “Will I ever find love?”
But Myles swept into her life when the two met through work and slowly won her over.
The Brady Davises wed at Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel in 2016 after dating for several years. They were breaking barriers even then: Precious was the first trans bride to appear on “Say Yes to the Dress,” where she talked about how Myles’ love had transformed her life.
Each had been open about eventually wanting a child since the time they started dating, they said. Now married with a stable home, good jobs and in their mid-30s, they thought, “It’s time for babies,” Myles said, laughing.
“Me and Precious always knew that we wanted kids,” Myles said. “I think that was just the next step in our journey.”
“And we wanted to do it with each other. This is a transcendency of our love and a manifestation of the life of us coming together,” Precious said. “Our focus now is starting our family.”
The two knew there’d be challenges coming their way — both face discrimination every day as people of color and trans people — but they also knew they’d be able to rely on each other and on their friends and families for support.
“Our love has always brought us through any barrier that has been in our way,” Myles said. “Once we decided to have a family, we kind of put the fears to our side, clinged to each other” and went for it.
The two pursued in vitro fertilization so Myles could get pregnant. That came with its own challenges: Doctors had to retrieve Myles’ eggs, create an embryo with Precious’ genetic material and transfer the embryo to Myles.
It took two cycles for Myles to have a positive pregnancy. That came with “very strong disappointments that can bear lots of grief” during the times when the embryos did not take, Precious said.
And Myles had to take estrogen during the in vitro fertilization process, the side effects of which are often larger breasts. That did cause Myles gender dysphoria, or the potentially distressing feeling Myles’ body did not align with their gender identity. Myles wondered if people would be looking at them or what they’d think of them.
Those concerns have lessened as Myles has felt more secure in their pregnant body.
“I just always think of the bigger picture: I have been blessed with the duty and the task to bring me and Precious’ first child into the world,” Myles said. “I think that in situations like this the pros outweigh the cons. Even though I might be going through something right now with my dysphoria, I know it’s all for a great purpose.”
Myles also worried about safety as their pregnancy began to show: They’ve “always had the privilege of passing” in the past, Myles said, but that would no longer necessarily be the case. Would people turn against a pregnant black transmasculine person?
“One fear that did come across my mind is, ‘How would the world react to me?’ Especially in a Trump America,” Myles said. “In the beginning I was kind of worried about my safety once I did start showing. But … we’re surrounded by love and support, so I always know that I will be safe because of them.”
Myles has taken safety precautions, they said, but Myles and Precious noted since announcing their pregnancy they’ve received only love and warm wishes.
And those who have struggled through the in vitro process have said Myles and Precious give them hope, Myles said.
“People have been reaching out to us, telling us that our story is so inspirational,” Myles said.
“Just nothing but overwhelming love and kindness and positive words for this pregnancy and our expectant child,” Precious said.
‘Different Types Of Family When It Comes To Queerness’
Family and the queer community “go hand-in-hand,” Precious said, and she and Myles have been a part of many families and have been like parents to many younger LGBT people through their advocacy work.
Now, their pregnancy means they’re “growing our own community in our home,” Myles said.
“There are so many different types of family when it comes to queerness,” Precious said. “Often we create them and we redefine the structure given that homelessness and abandonment is so prevalent within the LGBTQIA community.
“To some … we have already been parents and have mentored countless young people. Now we feel that we want to bring a child into the world, and it’s sort of mindblowing that we have the ability to bring a child into the world and create our legacy and to build our future.”
The two are going to stay quiet on names, but they said the baby will have a name that’s spiritual, connected to the Earth and has great meaning. They don’t know if they’ll have another baby, but they joked they are looking to rescue a French bulldog once their child is born.
But first, they want to get through their first pregnancy together.
“This is not an easy journey. [In vitro] can be very difficult. It can be very disappointing at times,” Precious said. “But through the support of family and through the strong basis of our relationship, we persevered and crossed our fingers.”
And just as Myles and Precious have been able to start their family on their own terms, Precious urged others to create their own kind of family “on your time.”
“Don’t be pressured to do it one specific way. Family comes in many kinds of forms,” Precious said. “There are people whose chosen family is … in communities, people who adopt, people who do volunteer work. There are people who serve as surrogates. There are families that are triads or where there’s a single parent.
“There is no one single definition of a family. At the root of it, it’s about love and support.”
The Brady Davises found that love and support in each other, they said, and now they will share it with their child when the baby is born this winter.
“My child will know nothing but love and support and peace and comfort,” Precious said. “And everything that they ever need will be provided for by Myles and I and our beautiful breadth of community leaders who are excited to uplift us.”
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.