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Toni Newman is a 1985 graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She is currently studying law with plans of becoming a lawyer defending the Transgenders and their rights. For the last twenty years, Toni has been making Male-to-Female (MTF) transformation. For ten years, she worked as a professional mistress with a female mistress and male master. They were known as THE EROTIC PROFESSIONALS with celebrity clients. Together with her business partner, Alton Willoughby, Toni has written a teleplay and screenplay about the trio's escapades as escorts. It would be her greatest wish to be the first African American Transgender to have her script made successfully into a feature film.
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Toni Newman is a 1985 graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Studying law with plans of becoming a lawyer defending Transgenders (especiallly minorities)and their rights. For the last 25 years, Toni has been making Male-to-Female (MTF) transformation. For ten years, she worked as a professional mistress with a female mistress and male master. They were known as THE EROTIC PROFESSIONALS with celebrity clients. Together with her business partner, Alton Demore, and British Director Keith Holland, Toni has written a teleplay (The Erotic Professionals) and screenplay (Heart of a Woman) about the trio's escapades as escorts and life as a black transgender in America. Toni just recently produced comedy webisode, Douche Bros, with Executive Producers Alton Demore, David Veach and Laurent Hazout directed by British Director Keith Holland starring Chris Conrad and Jaime Zevallos. Her book I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman is available on Amazon.com now as hardcopy or kindle ebook.
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 countires 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 gayfeatured 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 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. She works for the only HIV/AIDS residential facility in California as the development manager.
After being the first to write a review questioning the $45.00 price tag that originally accompanied this book, I felt almost compelled to purchase it the moment I noticed the author seemingly had heeded my advice (and that of all the "seconds" by other interested folks) and repriced it at my suggested purchase point of $9.99. For the most part, although it was rather short in length and sometimes a bit repetitious, I wasn't sorry I did so.
The author's account held my interest as she described her gradual, impactful and almost inexorable march toward gender transition. This autobiographical narrative was a very moving, graphical and seemingly honest presentation of the author's journey from a male gender role to a female one. Along with her transformation, the author vividly describes the struggles of being transsexual in the context of the enhanced hardships she endured, just by virtue of being an African American transsexual, an exceptionally rare bird indeed. Her viewpoint, as a person of color, provides the reader with a much different and very unique perspective.
I found the account of the author's transition to be quite a refreshing change from the more common, almost cookie-cutter narratives of the similar journeys of white, middle class types, not that those transitions weren't unique and fraught with their own particular issues, it's just that no other account I've read about previously was by a black transgender person, and very few memoirs or autobiographies reveal such intimate details of what many would consider to be a rather sordid side of life.Read more ›
I wish it were longer. I read this book over two days and it took me about 6 to 8 hours to read from cover to cover. This work is inspsiring and as an African American transsexual woman of color myself I must say I am absolutely estatic at this book. It is out for girls of color to read or any person to read to get a glimpse of what a transsexual woman of color endures in her daily life. She kept it positive and real, she covered pumping, hormones, discrimination. She started two businesses, developed and marked her own calendar, avoided drugs and alcohol. She finished school and was awarded a degree from one of the top universites in the nation. I wish her the best of luck with her law school aspirations. It was time for an African American transwoman to write a self biography. With all the bad press we get, she has shown a shinning light on how some of us "RISE" in the face of adversity. Even if some in society do not accept us, even if we are shunned by some, this work is an inspiration to keep your head up and tread on. I applaud you Toni. Keep up the good work.
Bianca Raigne Crown-Hazzard
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This book was enlightening, entertaining and downright funny. I definitely did not know that all mentioned were playing for the other team (no issues be be true to yourself). The author made me feel so proud that although she had to go through trial, thribulation, etc she was still true to herself and out winning in end. This is a good read, but no way in the world i would pay $45.00 for it. A co-worker of mines had it (do not know where she bought it from but i know as cheap as she is she did not pay $45.00). Good book, but definitely not worth $45.00.
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I Rise is a fresh (and refreshing) addition to the growing realm of transgender memoirs, being the story of someone who is proudly black, proudly gay, and proudly transsexual. What immediately strikes you when reading her story is that it is neither the story of a victim, nor that of a life fashioned out of the need to escape something or someone in her past. Instead, it's a story of simply becoming herself, of realizing who she always was inside.
Toni's story is exciting, full of drama, celebrity encounters, and a career that could just as easily have sprung from the pages of an erotic novel. It's also a story that is deeply moving, sometimes sorrowful, but always inspiring. Whether or not you agree with the choices she's made, you cannot help but admire her perseverance and her sense of purpose.
If you're at all interested in the transgender experience, or simply interesting in the story of a life that inspires, I cannot recommend this highly enough.