A True Tale Of Rags To Riches of African American Transgender
I Rise, the controversial coming of age novel by Toni Newman will bring tears of joy and perseverance

I Rise, is the true story of Toni Newman’s transformation from an effeminate, conflicted male to a proud, educated transsexual.  You will follow Toni on her rise from 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. Along Toni’s journey you will see the highs and lows, as well as life-long quest for self-acceptance….

Toni is ex playgirl magazine model and male fitness model turned Transgender to lose it all.  Toni graduated from Wake Forest University in 1985 with BA degree.  In the late 90’s, Toni was the CEO of MPI Productions, producer of male/female fitness calendars, sold all over the United States and abroad.

An outcast to society, Toni fell from grace landing on the streets of New York City.  Living in a crack house, and eating from a trash can, Toni’s life had spiraled out of control.  Fallen, but not beaten, Toni Newman decided to RISE.  In the footsteps Ted Williams, Toni Newman is a true testament of determination.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
Dr. Maya Angelou



You can also purchase the book directly from Author Toni Newman for $30.00 plus $5.00 shipping/handling for total of $35.00 by www.paypal.com to tonidnewman@aol.com.
The book contains 42 beautiful artistic color photos of male and female fitness models and pics of my transformation from male to female. 



Support me so that I may support the Transgender youth and community.  Everyone on the planet deserves Love and Acceptance even the Transgenders.



SPI Productions LLC was founded in 2005 by Toni Newman and Alton Demore Willougby.  It is a entertainment production company based in los angeles california focusing on original creative works based on real life dramatic stories.  

Toni Newman is the first African American Transgender to write memoir/autobiography in the United States.  She is 1985 graduate of Wake Forest University with BA degree in Sociology.  Her book is called I Rise / The Transformation of Toni Newman.  She is studying law hoping to become an Attorney.  


Toni Newman

1626 Wilcox Avenue, Suite 1271

Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 633-6039




Highly creative entrepreneur with over 15 years of business experience. Determined self-starter with proven ability to meet deadlines and budgets. Excellent communicator with exceptional networking abilities. Studying to become a Criminal Attorney.


Professional Experience

CEO, SPI Productions LLC                                                                        3/2003 – present
Los Angeles, CA

  • Co-author teleplay and screenplay, The Erotic Professionals.
  • Author of autobiography, I Rise – The Transformation of Toni Newman.
  • Talent and funding acquisitions.
  • Acquired top film director & funding for movie project.

Certified Massage Therapist                                                            1/2001 – 2/2003
New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA

  • Managed independent bi-coastal massage business.

CEO, MPI Productions LLC                                                           6/1996 – 12/2000
New York, NY

  • Publisher of Male Physique Calendar 1999, Female Physique Calendar 1999, Male Physique Millennium Calendar, Female Physique Millennium Calendar.
  • Male fitness model, featured in Playgirl Magazine.
  • Guest appearances on The Ricki Lake Show, The Jenny Jones Show, The Sally Jessy Raphael Show and several local new York shows.

Assistant Manager/Fitness Consultant
Adolphus Fitness Inc., New York, NY                                  1/1994 – 6/1998

  • Assisted with managerial duties.
  • Fitness consultant.


Instructional Supervisor/Assistant to Dean of Evening Programs
Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC               1/1992 – 1/1994

  • Supervised two evening satellite programs.
  • Recruited part-time instructors.
  • Approved course curriculum for evening programs.

Admissions Representative/Assistant to Director of Off-Campus Programs
Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville, NC       2/1990 – 1/1992

  • Recruited students through Career High School Days.
  • Advised prospective students on academic curriculum.

Sr. Accounts Manager/Business Services
ATT Business Services, Jacksonville, NC                              9/1986 – 1989

  • Sold telecommunications systems to Fortune 500 companies.
  • Supervised 5 junior account managers.


Juris of Doctorate Program
Abraham Lincoln University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA 2010 – present

Bachelors of Arts – Sociology
Recipient of several local and national scholarships
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 1985

Skills & Highlights

  • 1st Degree Black Belt/Judo, Yoga Practitioner.
  • Certificates in Web Design, Cobalt Programming, and Screenwriting.
  • Member of the Spanish National Honor Society and National Honor Society in high school.
  • Staff member of Jacksonville Sr. High School Yearbook.



Will be supplied upon request.


Alton Demore Willoughby is a SAG actor and screenwriter of The Erotic Professionals. Alton was 2006 swimwear model for the Ebony/Jet Magazine Swimwear Male Calendar and appeared in the movie PHAT GIRLZ with comedian Monique. Alton has taken classes at Santa Monica College and studied acting with Craig Wallace, Steve Eastin, Amy London, and Bobbi Chance.  The Erotic Professionals has been written into a Teleplay and Screenplay.  Alton's webpage is www.altondemore.com