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. We basically had nothing but each other. There was no judgment just acceptance to who I was and my authentic self. I had been shunned by all but my trans sisters. Now in 2015, the violence and murder rate with transwomen of color is rising each year. The statistics say the suicide rate is higher as well. The message I want to relay today to all my trans brothers and sisters is you are important to us and we need you to survive.

I worked very hard to climb my way up and I understand it is difficult. But my word of encouragement today is that you can be more, be better, be happy and be your authentic self. It was not easy to walk my path of being my authentic self but there is so much joy in being real with yourself. No more lies, no more deception just truth and honesty. I understand you may have no family support, no friend support or any support for that matter. But you must continue to wake up each morning and strive to be better and be your authentic self.

The LGBT family must recognize that ...

Rising Voices, Wake Forest's first ‪#‎LGBTQ‬ conference, showcases talents of graduates, connects students with alumni — and results in healing. Read what alumn...i voices, including Toni Newman ('85), Courtney Cuff ('94), Kelly Smith ('86), David Styers ('92), William B. Hawk ('93) and Tré Easton ('13) had to say at http://bit.ly/1iioHoc

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Oct. 13, 2015 - PRLog -- Transgender Author Toni Newman of memoir I Rise  will be speaking at the Wake Forest University LGBTQIA conference on Friday, October 23, 4 pm at Farrell Hall.

I Rise: African American Transgender Lives
Toni Newman (’85), Dr. Angela Mazaris (Director of the LGBTQ Center)
(Farrell A48)
Author Toni Newman ( I Rise —The Transformation)

will lead this session on the transgender community, focusing particularly on African-American transgender women within the...

August 24, 2015 Listen here http://www.boomboxpodcast.com/episodes/2015/8/24/108-trans-voices It’s August 2015, and transgender people are finally winning recognition in pop culture and government. But at the same time, transphobic violence is reaching alarming levels, and trans voices continue to be shouted down. Are we making progress? This week, we hear reflections on gender identity, love, and power from people who identify as trans. The episode includes poetry from...

August 24, 2015

It’s August 2015, and transgender people are finally winning recognition in pop culture and government. But at the same time, transphobic violence is reaching alarming levels, and trans voices continue to be shouted down. Are we making progress?

This week, we hear reflections on gender identity, love, and power from people who identify as trans. The episode includes poetry from Darkmatter and interviews with author-activist Toni Newman and tech employee Brook Shelley.


Guest notes:

You can learn more about Toni and Brook’s experiences through their writing. Toni’s memoir is entitled “I Rise,” and Brook was recently published in the essay collection “Lean Out.”

For more Darkmatter poetry, visit their website or Facebook page. You can also donate to support Alok and Janani’s work.



We said that seventeen trans women had been killed in the U.S. so far this year. Here are the names of the first sixteen. Here is an early report on the death of Tamara Dominguez, who is the seventeenth.

Toni said that trans people of color were twice as likely to suffer violence as other LGBT people. The real number is probably higher. A report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that two-thirds of all LGBT and HIV-affected homicide victims in 2013 were trans women of color, despite making up a small fraction of the overall LGBT population.

Toni also said that many people charged with murdering trans victims pleaded out to lesser crimes such as manslaughter. We could not find any data to indicate such a trend, but we did uncover two examples of such plea bargains being offered.

Lastly, Toni mentioned that trans people are likely to be unemployed or employed as sex workers. The National Center for Transgender Equality reports that due to “extreme levels of unemployment and poverty,” a disproportionate number of trans people - one in eight - resort to “underground economies” such as sex and drug work to make ends meet.


Music and audio clips:

In order of appearance, this episode featured “Stars are Out” by Podington Bear; “Candlepower,” “Undercover Vampire Policeman,” and “What, True Self? Feels Bogus, Let’s Watch Jason X” by Chris Zabriskie; “Good Times” and “Guestlist” by Podington Bear; “Summer Days” by Kai Engel; “Prelude No. 21” by Chris Zabriskie; and “Afterglow” and “Starling” by Podington Bear.

The news clips in the introduction came from Katie Couric, The Golden Globes, ABC News, ABC7 WJLA, and The Wall Street Journal.

The credits featured an original cover of “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment.

Our theme song is Fireworks by Jahzzar.

- See more at: http://www.tonidnewman.com/press/#sthash.H1hzyJAx.dpuf

(08-22-15) -- Toni is originally from Jacksonville, North Carolina and attended Wake Forest University on academic scholarship where she received her BA degree in Sociology. Before moving to the west coast, Toni worked for seven years in the NC Community College system as Admissions Representative, Minority Recruiter, Instructional Supervisor and Assistant to the Dean.

Toni Newman Toni comes to Maitri and San Francisco from Los Angeles, where she was the Development and Administration Coordinator for T.H.E. Health and Wellness Centers (South Los Angeles’ largest healthcare center network). In that role, Toni was responsible for development, grants, website presence, marketing and working with the outreach team as Certified Enrollment Counselor helping the homeless, mentally ill, HIV positive and underinsured get affordable healthcare and the services they need. Prior to this, Toni worked for Equality California - California’s premier statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization - as a canvasser, fundraiser, legislative aide and volunteer recruiter. In her spare time, Toni is currently pursuing her law degree to fight for LGBT equality, with a special focus on transgender rights.

In 2011, Toni wrote her memoir, I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman, where she discusses her 25 year difficult transition. Her book was nominated in 2012 in two categories for the Lambda Literary Awards, honored in 2012 by Wake Forest University for Faces of Courage, and has been featured in the Advocate, Huffington Post and Ebony magazine. Toni is the Community Editor for Proud to Be Out-The Digital Magazine and a blogger for Huffington Post’s Gay Voices.

Toni is very passionate about service and helping the underprivileged. She and her business partner of 13 years have regularly volunteered with several homeless groups in Los Angeles and believe giving back is the key to success. Toni was included this year in the Trans 100 List which Celebrates Excellence in the Transgender Community within the United States.

Maitri's Mission Statement: No one should have to suffer or die alone. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women living with late-stage AIDS in need of hospice or 24-hour care, and cultivates the deepest respect and love for life among its residents and caregivers. Founded in 1987 by Zen Buddhist monk Issan Dorsey, Maitri is a state-licensed, 15-bed facility serving low-income and medically underserved individuals with late-stage, debilitating AIDS. In this serene, healing space, dedicated staff and volunteers offer comprehensive nursing care and psychosocial and spiritual resources to residents, and extend respite and support to their loved ones as well. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women living with AIDS in need of hospice or 24-hour care.

Visit: www.maitrisf.org


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 Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. NCTE has grown to a staff of ten and works at the local, state and federal level to change laws, policies and society.

We discuss the economic and racial discrimination that most minority transgender people face on a day-to-day basis. Most minority transgender people live below the poverty level, and find it difficult to get employment because of transphobia and racial discrimination. We agreed that President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden have been the most trans-friendly administration ever in U.S. history. There has been much progress, but in 2015 there is still much work to be done to gain full equality and rights for transgender people in the United States.

Mara mentions more than one in four transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than three-fourths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination. The refusal to hire, privacy violations, harassment and even physical and sexual violence on the job are common occurrences, and are experienced at even higher rates by transgender people of color. Extreme levels of unemployment and poverty lead one in eight to become involved in underground economies -- such as sex and drug work -- in order to survive and among trans people of color that number is even higher.

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey done in 2011 showed that 26 percent of trans people lost a job due to bias, 50 percent were harassed on the job, 20 percent were evicted or denied housing and 78 percent of trans students were harassed or assaulted. And the transphobia that drives the discrimination is much higher when the trans person is a person of color and also faces racism. Trans people of color face higher rates of discrimination, unemployment and violence. Fighting poverty and racism and uplifting the voices of marginalized transgender people across the U.S. is key to the work of National Center for Transgender Equality.

The National Center for Transgender Equality has two main projects. They are the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative and the Trans Legal Services Network. As stated on the National Center for Transgender Equality website:

NCTE's Racial and Economic Justice Initiative started in 2014 ensures the perspectives and priorities of transgender people of color, and those who live in urban and rural poverty, are part of the national policy and advocacy agenda. This includes federal policy, local and state advocacy, and collaborating with other racial, social, economic and criminal justice movements and initiatives.

Currently, the Initiative's work includes reforming detention conditions for transgender people in correctional facilities and in immigration detention. NCTE helps ensure every transgender person can navigate the complicated name and gender change process and confidently address other legal issues they may face.

NCTE created the Trans Legal Services Network to increase support for organizations across the country who are serving or aiming to serve the legal needs of our communities. Comprised of over 50 organizations, the Network shares advice, provides technical support and legal resources to support their work and expand their services.

To listen to the full conversation between Mara Keisling and I, please go to:

Check Out LGBT Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with ToniNewman on BlogTalkRadio

Check Out LGBT Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with ToniNewman on BlogTalkRadio with ToniNewman on BlogTalkRadio

If you are interested in supporting or learning more about the work of the National Center for Transgender Equality please go here.

We are appreciative of the support of our current President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden, but full equality is the goal, and nothing less will do in 2015.

"The names of our sisters shouldn’t only make headlines when we walk a red carpet or lay in a casket," according to Janet Mock. We couldn't agree more.

BY  Mitch Kellaway

March 31 2015 5:00 AM ET 

Tommy Luckett, HIV/AIDS advocate
Tommy Luckett, HIV/AIDS advocate

The Trans 100 — an annual list of 100 trans Americans accomplished in the fields of advocacy and art — is all about positive visibility. So what better project to highlight today, on the International Transgender Day of Visibility?


Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders via sfweekly.com


A man who can see the future meets a woman who can see many possible futures and the two fall in love, despite knowing exactly when their relationship will end and how.

Date of Publication: 2011
Why You Should Read It: Not only did it win the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novelette (and get nominated for many more awards), but this novella will also soon be adapted to the small screen by NBC.

2. Last Letters From Hav by Jan Morris

Random House via themanbookerprize.com

Jan Morris via patriciaannmcnair.com

This fictional memoir details Morris’ six-month trip to the imaginary country of Hav, which seems to be on the brink of war.

Date of Publication: 1985
Why You Should Read It: The book, which crosses genres between travel literature and science fiction, was nominated for a Man Booker Prize its year of publication.


Download Booklets

2015 Trans 100

The full booklet is viewable online and shareable here.

Directly download The 2015 Trans 100 booklet by click here (~5MB download)




Directly download a copy of the 2014 Trans 100 by clicking here

The full booklet is also viewable online, shareable, and downloadable here




Download a copy of the 2013 US Trans 100 by clicking here





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 States president who has gone on record in support of inclusion for transgender people, even before he took the oath of office in 2008. The passage of laws will enable trans men and trans women to get their rights protected. I am a student of the law and recognize its importance and necessity for transgender equality.

Kylar W. Broadus is a professor, attorney, activist and public speaker from Missouri. He is an associate professor of business law at Lincoln University of Missouri, a historically black college where he previously served as the chair of the business department. He has maintained a general practice of law in Columbia, Missouri, since 1997. In February 2011 he was awarded the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Sue J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement. He was featured on BlackEnterprise.com discussing his personal experience with workplace discrimination. In 2010 he founded Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), the only national civil-rights organization dedicated to the needs of trans people of color. He currently serves on the board of the National Black Justice Coalition and was the board chair from 2007 to 2010.

I met Kylar many years ago at a community meeting and saw his passion and drive for the transgender community. I am saddened by so many suicides and murders of transgender people in 2014. But we must continue to fight for the right of our youth to safely be their authentic selves. 2015 is a new year, and the fight for transgender equality still goes on, and I appreciate legal minds such as that of Kylar, who uses the law to educate and enlighten the world about the transgender journey.

In 2012 Kylar made history by becoming the first openly transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate. He was speaking in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which, if passed into law, would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. His truthful speech touched me then, and he continues to fight for transgender people now. Here is his testimony before the Senate:


I recognize the achievements of all my trans brothers and sisters over the last year, but Kylar Broadus is my selection for Transgender Person of 2014. My message to all my trans brothers and sisters in 2015 is this: Don't give up. If you need help, reach out. Don't be ashamed to ask for help if you need it to keep moving forward. As always I say, rise, stand tall, and be proud of your authentic self.

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