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Toni Newman
Toni Newman is the author of the memoir I Rise —The Transformation of Toni Newman. The memoir I Rise was nominated in 2012 in 2 categories for the Lambda Literary Awards. I Rise is being sold in 22 countries and 15 different languages. British director Keith Holland and writer/producer Alton Demore have adapted the memoir into the feature film Heart of a Woman. The Advocate, the Huffington Post, and Ebony magazine featured Toni Newman and I Rise. Toni is the Community Editor for Proud to Be Out digital magazine and a blogger for [ Huffington Post's Gay Voices], which features the leaders of transgender advocacy groups in the United. Wake Forest University honored Toni as Outstanding Face of Courage in 2012. In 2015 Toni was nominated for the Trans 100 honoring transgenders in the USA for enlightening and educating others. Her day-to-day position is the Development Manager for Maitri Compassionate Care (the only AIDS/HIV hospice in California). Maynard Institute of Journalism Education honored Toni Newman in June 2013. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a B.A. degree, MBA degree and currently a law school student pursuing a JD degree with a desire to fight for minorities. Her webpage is

Entries by Toni Newman

National Transgender Day of Remembrance: The Message Is You Are Important to Us and We Need You to Survive

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 8:15 AM


After another year, we look back and we look forward in the transgender community. I remember 20 years ago when I was all alone, broken and on the streets with my other trans sisters, I felt such a sisterhood and bond....

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'The Women of San Quentin: Soul Murder of Transgender Women in Male Prisons' By Kristin Lyseggen

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 6:05 PM


Norwegian-born Kristin Lyseggen is a journalist and photographer based in Berkeley California with lots of compassion and love. I was invited to meet Kristin, the author of the newly released book, The Women of San Quentin, at the City of Refuge Church of...

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Transgender Equality Starts With Each Transgender Person Taking Responsibility for Actions, Words and Deeds

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 2:49 PM

2015 has been a good year for transgender people and the push for recognition and equality. President Obama and Vice-President Biden have made great efforts to support the transgender community by including legislation that is directly beneficial to the rights of transgender...
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Mara Keisling, Founding Executive Director of National Center for Transgender Equality, Discusses Racial Equality

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 2:52 PM


Mara Keisling is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality based in Washington DC. Mara Keisling is a graduate of Penn State University and did her graduate work at Harvard University in American Government. The mission of the National...

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Kylar Broadus: My Selection for Transgender Person of 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 3:19 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 | 9:08 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 | 6:56 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

(0) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 9:16 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 | 10:18 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

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 2:06 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

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 12:54 AM


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 | 5:13 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 | 4:01 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 | 4:13 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 | 9:00 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 | 9:00 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 | 7:58 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 | 9:43 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 | 7:59 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 | 9:53 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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