Toni is currently the Executive Director of St. James Infirmary in San Francisco



San Francisco Peer Based Healthcare Provider Appoints New Member To Its Executive Team

St. James Infirmary Names Maitri Compassionate Care Development Officer Toni Newman As Its Executive Director

VALENCIA, Calif. - April 2, 2018 - PRLog -- Effective May 9th, 2018, Toni Newman will be taking over as the Executive Director for St. James Infirmary,  St. James Infirmary is a peer-based occupational health and safety clinic located in San Francisco, CA, offering free, compassionate, and non-judgmental healthcare and social services for former and current sex industry workers. With the many challenges facing the aforementioned, including but not limited to political climate, homelessness, violence, and the overwhelming intricacies of the legal, public and social systems; St. James Infirmary Offers a non-biased alternative, providing individuals with culturally competent and non-judgmental services. 

Currently serving as the Development Officer for Maitri Compassionate Care,, Toni will bring years of experience and direct knowledge to St. James Infirmary.  Toni is a 1985 graduate of Wake Forest University and current candidate for her Juris of Doctorate (JD).   Toni previously served as the Interim Director of Development & Communications at the To Help Everyone Health and Wellness Center and as a Strategic Fundraiser, Volunteer Recruiter, and Legislative Aide for Equality California.

Additionally, Toni is a best selling author, noted for her memoir I Rise -The Transformation of Toni Newman released in 2011.  The memoir has been featured in Ebony and Advocate magazines, and nominated for the prestigious Lambda Literary award.  Most recently the memoir has been produced into a short film titled Heart of a Woman by Alton Demore and Keith Holland; the film has been and continues to be screened in film festivals across the globe.

"We are thrilled to have Toni Newman leading St. James Infirmary, as we approach such an important milestone in our organizational history - our 20 year anniversary in June 2019. Toni brings a wealth of experience to St. James Infirmary, specifically, many years of programmatic oversight and fierce fundraising skills. We can't wait to see how our organization thrives under her leadership, and are so excited for our future!"
- Johanna Breyer, Interim Executive Director/Co-Founder of St. James Infirmary

Toni's work at Maitri Compassionate Care has been both paramount and humbling, helping to cultivate messaging and lasting awareness. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women in need of hospice or 24-hour care and cultivates the deepest respect and love for life among its residents and caregivers. Maitri is the only AIDS-specific residential care facility in California focusing on the underserved community of those dying of or severely debilitated by AIDS.

Of the many components to Toni's work at Maitri, she has been instrumental in its annual fundraiser and gala Maitri Bliss which Toni has successfully been coordinating for the past 3 years.  Before her leave, Toni will see Maitri off one last time with its Maitri Bliss 2018, to take place on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 featuring Jennifer Holliday, Frenchie Davis, Jonny Zywiciel, Jason Stuart and hosted by Dale Johannes. Maitri Bliss 2018 will be celebrating Maitri's 31 years of service and its first female Executive Director, Anne Gimbel.

"In Toni's almost three years as Development Manager, she has exceeded her expectations to raise more money each year at our Bliss Gala!  Toni is a strong professional and knows development and organizational structure. She is an excellent choice to be the Executive Director at St. James Infirmary."
- Anne Gimbel, ED of Maitri Compassionate Care



                                     A MEMOIR

I’ve always found it interesting that someone had to throw Jackie Robinson the ball for there to be a Jackie Robinson. Give talent and passion the right team to play on, and, as they say, the rest is history. In no less a historical spotlight, I am proud to present you with I Rise – The Transformation of Toni Newman, the first memoir written in America by a member of the African American transgender community. It is gut-wrenchingly honest, factually supported, and well written.  Dr. Marc Weiss Ph.D., Former Associate Professor of Urban Development, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University wrote the foreword to this memoir, is a best-selling author, and a former member of the Clinton administration.  The editor to the book is Kevin Hogan, Former Assistant Professor and Graduate of Boston College with Masters Degree in English Literature.

I Rise is the true story of Toni Newman’s transformation from an internally conflicted male to a proud, pre-operative transsexual. Born the eldest son into a strict Christian family, Toni admits knowing from her earliest days that she “was a different bird born in the wrong body.” With laser-guided sincerity, curiosity, and above all, humor and compassion, Toni tells her story of being a “sissy boy,” a scholarship student, a business professional, an escort, a drag queen, a NYC prostitute, an LA dominatrix, and finally, a transsexual attending law school in order to help her transsexual sisters in need.

From cross-dressing and Bible Study classes in Jacksonville, North Carolina, to writing and studying while tending to the fetish fantasies of Hollywood’s A-list, I Rise is far from a tale of fitting in. It is instead a unique and mesmerizing study of finding oneself in a world where gender and beauty can be hard fought for and earned. And Toni Newman, more than anyone else I know, deserves to be proud of her identity. Through the complete loss of friends, family support, employment and shelter, Toni was never deterred from seeking the path that was right for her.

When a minority community so stricken by drug abuse, sexual exploitation, explosive suicide rates, and lack of education, has a voice rise out of it as courageous and profound as Toni Newman’s, you do everything you can to make sure it’s a home run heard the world over.


Memoir I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman nominated for 2 Lambda Literary Awards in categories of Memoirs and Transgender Nonfiction.  This is the 24th annual Lambda Literary Awards.  The Lambda Literary Foundation Celebrates Excellence in LGBT Literature since 1989. ...

Memoir I Rise makes the All Time Top 25 Best Transgender People Biographies List at #24 ...


Black Policy Lab: Will Black Trans Lives Matter.   




Counter Script


Chapter 7 (The Erotic Professionals) within book I Rise has been turned into Feature film:  Heart of a Woman (
Directed by British Film Director Keith Holland and Executive Producer Alton Demore starring Angelica Ross, Rachel Sterling, Justin Berti, Isis King and Jason Stuart.


Book was Edited by Kevin Hogan and Foreword of the Book was written by Dr. Marc Weiss. The Cover of the Book was photographed by Eric Scot. Technical Assistance was given by Alton Demore, my business partner. The Title of the Book was inspired by the Poem I Rise written by Dr. Maya Angelou, Reynolds Professor at Wake Forest University, my alma mater, where I graduated in the class of 1985.  Studying Law to obtain Juris of Doctorate degree.





Heart of a Woman Film