Falling Upwards

By Theresa Davis

A moving memoir about family, addiction, transitioning and living authentically.

LGBTQ+ | Non fiction
32% funded
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This story begins at an end.

In 2018, Theresa found out on social media that her sister had died. Having been estranged from her family for many years, Theresa reached out to her remaining family which led to new discoveries, resurfacing of traumatic memories and the examining of her childhood in a new light.

As a child growing up in the mid 80s, Theresa knew that she wasn’t like the other boys. She enjoyed ballet and once blurted to a child psychologist that things would be better if she was a girl. Her unconventional upbringing with lesbian parents didn’t save her from facing transphobia and there begun a campaign to ‘make a man’ out of her.

Forced into the wrong box, she spent her early adulthood in denial, tackling alcoholism and enduring an abusive relationship. However, the death of her mother was a turning point. Crawling out of the wreckage of her life, she finally accepted the reason why she’d never been able to “man up”: she was not a man.

Theresa knew her truth from a very early age, but was denied the chance to live her authentic life until adulthood. Charting that realisation, and the experience of transitioning as an adult with an established life, this is an important part of the wider trans narrative.

This is a story of triumph. This is a story of courage, resilience and being your true authentic self when the world doubts your existence. This is a story of Falling Upwards. 


  • B format [160 x 240mm] 
  • Paperback book 
  • ~ 400 pages

*Book designs, cover and other images are for illustrative purposes and may differ from final design.

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  • Theresa Davis avatar

    Theresa Davis

    Theresa Davis has only existed since 1998. Before then she spent the first 27 years of her life feeling like a square peg in a round hole, trying to fit a male body.
    She came out as trans in her twenties and went on to become the team leader for the operations team at The Daily Telegraph responsible for keeping the website online 24/7.
    In 2007 she moved to Spain where she now lives with her partner Helen and 2 cats.
    When not running her cloud computing consultancy she likes to travel with her trademark purple fedora.

  • My story begins not at the beginning but at an end.

    It was late on a Sunday evening in April I was laying on the bed in a 4-star hotel we had booked as a special treat to celebrate Helens’ birthday. Chilling after our evening meal idly flicking through social media, I decided to search for some of my family. Now for various reasons that will become clear along the way I wasn’t connected with any of my family on Facebook, but I would occasionally look up the one or two that I had been able to identify. On opening my youngest nieces page, I came across a photo of my sister, I realised that this was a picture from a few years ago when my sister and her husband had renewed their vows. Puzzled as to why she had posted this older photo I opened the comments, as I read my heart sank further with every line. Each one was an expression of sympathy for her loss in one form or another. I couldn’t believe, the implication of what I was reading. There could only be one conclusion, something had happened to my sister and she had died. I had no idea as to the cause of her death; she was only 52 and there was no mention as to what had occurred.

  • Theresa Davis has written 1 private update. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    17th December 2021 'Twas the Week before Christmas, when all through the island

    On the western side of La Palma, an eerie silence has descended...  

    After close to 90 days the volcano lies dormant, free of lava flows and ash clouds; Is the eruption over the scientists say that it's too soon to call yet. A Christmas free of lava flows and toxic gasses would be a welcome gift for many this year but of little solace to those who will be attempting to celebrate in temporary accommodation…

    17th October 2021 Volcano in the back garden

    Many UK dwellers have begun to learn of the existence of the island of La Palma over the last few weeks as the images of lava flows were beamed over the airways by the media. The sight of houses being devoured by lava is dramatic and spectacular but it takes on a whole different viewpoint when you know the people who have lost everything. 

    Even my work colleagues often get confused between…

    11th September 2021 The view from the tower

    If you don't know me that well then it may be a surprise that as a trans woman I spent most of my 30s working for Telegraph Media Group publishers of the conservative-leaning Daily and Sunday Telegraph. Both major Fleet St. newspapers, colloquially known as the Torgygraph for its support of the corresponding party. 

    Most days were run of the mill, especially the night shifts which ran until…

    27th August 2021 Loss

    Trigger warning: Death and Suicide

    image: lit candle on dark background

    I didn't think that I would have to deal with this but I think this is important to cover this at this point. 

    In August last year, Isabella Bellusci backed Falling Upwards, less than 2 weeks later she took her own life, this week I received the sad news that her widow Jane McQueen had taken her life also…

    21st April 2021 Back where it all began

    It was 3 years ago today 21st April 2018 when I started my journey to reconnect with my family and my past. I had just started to write the untitled memoir which became Falling Upwards. 

    This seemingly ordinary flight was a gateway and formed a pivotal aspect of examining my childhood as I was on the journey back to my childhood home.

    I’m snapped back into the present again by the announcement…

    27th February 2021 March Update

    We have reached the point of 25% funding, to all that have backed the project up to this point a huge thank you for your funding and patience. 

    The beginning of March brings around mixed feelings, it was back in 1998 immediately after I started to undergo treatment towards my transition things began to go off track. 

    Looking back I had subconsciously let my guard down beginning to display a few…

    3rd January 2021 New Year, New Start

    Here we are at the start of 2021, let us forget last year and never talk of it again, well just a little maybe

    In all honesty, last year was not the year to launch a crowdfunding campaign, especially if like me you don't have a large social media following. Lockdown and travel restrictions limited my attempts to increase visibility by getting out to real-life events and other networking opportunities…

    30th November 2020 Coming Out

    As we near the end of November we start to get to that introspective time of year with Christmas and New Year on the horizon, but before that is a much more significant date, but I´ll come to that later. 

    Around this time of year in 1997, my life was in flux. The end of September has seen me moving out of the house I had shared with Emma and the children, I had planned to have more time to prepare…

    20th November 2020 Trans Day of Remembrance

    Trigger Warning Death, Violence

    Today the 20th of November is Trans Day of Remembrance. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. 

    This year it's an uncomfortable one for me because I am in the unfortunate position of there being a name on the list ( found here ) of trans people lost this year that can…

    8th October 2020 The long road

    I asked on Twitter what people would like to hear more about, and the most popular choice was life in Spain, So I'll give you a little peek at a section describing the eventful journey from the suburbs of London to the ferry port of Cadiz departure point of the ferry crossing to the Canary Islands. 

    Again this is a draft so will get changed a bit for the final published edition... 


    6th September 2020 The Turning Point

    I thought I would give you all a little peek at some of the work in progress, this Sunday 6th September marks 23 years since a pivotal point in my life, it was to be marked with pain, loss and suffering. It was however from the wreckage of this my previous life that I emerged and strove forward. 

    So here is a little extract from Falling Upwards detailing the events of this day 23 years ago. This…

    13th July 2020 Best made plans of mice and ...

    The fundraiser for “Falling Upwards” has been running for two months now, I would like to be closer to the target than I am but we persevere because that is what I do when things are not going the way they were planned. 

    Things not going to plan is almost a cornerstone of my life, but out of those failures have come the best revelations and opportunities that have guided my route in directions…

    28th May 2020 Small Steps

    First I would like to thank all those that have pledged in this first couple of weeks. It has not been the ideal time to launch a funder in the middle of a crisis when many are furloughed or have been made redundant. So again I thank you deeply.

    Now to some important things, progress. The 1st draft of the book itself is complete at around 95,000 words. I am in the process of doing the primary major…

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