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Toni Newman
Toni Newman is a writer, law school student, and author of the memoir I Rise: The Transformation of Toni Newman. Her webpage is

Entries by Toni Newman

Kylar Broadus: My Selection for Transgender Person of 2014

(9) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 2:19 PM


As an African-American transgender woman living in the 21st century, I recognize that the only way to get full transgender equality and rights is through laws passed by the states and the federal government. Our current president, Barack Obama, is the only United...

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Transgender Day of Remembrance: Honoring the Forgotten, the Homeless and the Victims

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 8:08 AM

I remember the day I decided to finally step out and be my authentic self in public, over two decades ago in New York City. It was approaching fall. I was looking for ladies like me, and I found them on 14th Street in the Meatpacking District, trying to survive....

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Koko Jones, Former Percussionist for Whitney Houston, Steps Out Front With New Album

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 5:56 PM


Whitney Houston has been one of my favorite artists of all time since I met her in the 1980s, during my college years. She was very kind to me when I was at her concert all dressed up and looking a mess. So...

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Fallon Fox, Top Female Athlete and MMA Fighter, Discusses Being Authentic and Real

(3) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 8:16 AM


Fallon Fox, the first openly transgender female to compete in the MMA, discusses transistioning, fighting, her goals and being authentic. Fallon Fox is a professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter specializing in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, and Muay Thai. She began...

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Martine Rothblatt, Highest Paid Female CEO, Talks Transistioning and Authenticity

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 9:18 AM


Success is what we all strive for in our daily journey. I was told if I pursued my transistion there would be no love and no success for me as an African-American transwoman. I was constantly informed that my life as a transgender...

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Chef Chris Trapani, the First Transgender Chef to Appear on the Food Network, Discusses Love, Transistioning and Food

(9) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 1:06 PM


I recently talked with Chef Chris Trapani for the upcoming issue of Proud to Be Out: The Digital Magazine. Chris is the first transgender person to appear on the Food Network as a chef. He appeared on the show Chopped for...

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Acting Director Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center Discusses Trans Equality in 2014 and the Future

(2) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 11:54 PM


Acting Director Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center discusses trans equality in 2014 and where we go from here. As stated on the Transgender Law Center website:

Kris Hayashi has been active in social, racial and economic justice organizing for...
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Jack Lorenz of Equality California Talks Transgender Health Care and Equality (AUDIO)

(2) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 4:13 PM

Photo courtesy of Equality California

Recently I talked with Jack Lorenz, Deputy Director of Programs and Development at Equality California (EQCA), about transgender health care and equality in the state of California. We discussed where to go in 2014 after the passage of California...

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Transgender Female Crossfit Athlete Chloie Jonsson Talks Equality, Acceptance, Tolerance and Respect

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 3:01 PM


Chloie Jonnson is a transgender female and CrossFit athlete fighting for her rights to compete as a female in the CrossFit Games. CrossFit has issued a statement explaining why they denied Chloie the right to compete as female but gave her...

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A Real, Honest Conversation Between a Gay African-American Man and a Transgender African-American Woman About the 'T' in the LGBT Family

(1) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 3:13 PM



Over the holidays I had a photo shoot with renowned photographer Eric Scot. Eric's work has appeared in Ebony (my picture was in the November 2012 issue) and Jet, and he has photographed some of Hollywood's...

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Soap Opera Star Daniel Sobieray Discusses Gender From the Viewpoint of a Heterosexual Midwestern Guy

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 8:00 AM

I met Daniel Sobieray almost a year ago through the casting of the LGBT feature film Heart of a Woman, based on my memoir I Rise. Daniel was auditioning for producer/screenwriter Alton Demore, British director Keith Holland and casting director Dea Vise for the lead male role of...

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Transgender Day of Remembrance: Remembering My Fallen Transgender Sisters Who Loved Me When I Was All Alone

(9) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 8:00 AM

Transgender Day of Remembrance occurs each year on Nov. 20. It is a day to memorialize transgender people who have been killed as a result of transphobia, or the hatred or fear of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, and acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender...

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Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler on Empowering the Transgender Community

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 6:58 PM

2013-09-29-Dr.KortneyRZiegler.jpgDr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler is a writer, filmmaker, producer, artist and activist fighting for social justice in the trans community. In 2013 he was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Blog; he was the first African-American trans man to...

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Michael Silverman, TLDEF Executive Director and Founder, Talks Transgender Equality and the Future

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 8:43 PM

2013-09-02-michaelsilverman.jpgAs an African-American transgender woman, I recognize that we need laws to protect the rights of transgender individuals. The "T" is the smallest population under the LGBT umbrella, and it's often overlooked and forgotten in the struggle for full equality. Transgender persons are...

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John O'Connor, Director of Equality California, on the Future of Full LGBT Equality (AUDIO)

(3) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 6:59 PM

2013-08-12-johnoconnor4.jpgJohn O'Connor, Executive Director of Equality California (EQCA), the largest statewide LGBT advocacy organization fighting for full equality for LGBT persons in California, appeared on my radio show to discuss LGBT equality after the victory for same-sex marriage in California, as well as...

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Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, Talks Transgender Equality

(3) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 8:53 PM


As Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, Masen Davis brings over two decades of leadership and activism in the movement toward LGBT equality. Since beginning this role in 2007, Davis has expanded the Transgender Law Center's annual operating budget...

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How to Tell Your Partner You're Transgender

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 11:22 AM

Living the life of a transsexual can be really hard. I know I don't have to tell you that. But while the day-to-day can be difficult, dating can be even harder. Finding a mate who can love and accept you as you will unfortunately not come easily. Like any person,...

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Tolerance, Respect and Acceptance: The Transgender Person's Daily Fight for Equality

(22) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 8:18 PM

As an African-American transgender woman, tolerance, respect and acceptance have been my quest for over 20 years. My initial coming out as a transgender woman left me friendless, jobless and eventually homeless. I was educated, with two degrees and years of work experience, but I could not find employment, simply...

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Transgender People of Color and Domestic Violence

(8) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 8:12 PM

Domestic violence is a crime in which one person asserts physical power over another individual for the purpose of controlling or dominating that person. As I engage in the legal system to fight for the rights of transgender individuals, I find that many transgender prisoners, especially transgender prisoners of color,...

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2012: State of Equality and Human Rights for All LGBT Americans

(0) Comments | Posted December 26, 2012 | 9:04 AM

This year has seen a big push for equality and equal rights for all LGBT Americans, including for the transgender community. As an African-American transgender woman, I have faced much discrimination and injustice in my life. Transgender people of color continue to fight for basic human rights in the justice...

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