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  • Erscheinungsdatum: 14.04.2011
  • Verlag: CreateSpace
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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, former Associate Professor of Columbia University wrote the foreword to this memoir, is a best-selling author, and a former member of the Clinton administration.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 232
    Erscheinungsdatum: 14.04.2011
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781461007098
    Verlag: CreateSpace
    Größe: 6350 kBytes
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Chapter 1

The Beginning

Hello. My name is Tony Newman. I was born a male, but soon realized I was a different bird, born in the wrong body. I had feminine qualities from my earliest age.

My home was in Jacksonville, North Carolina, also the home of Camp Lejeune Marine Corp Base. I was the oldest of four children.

Growing up, I was referred to as a sissy boy by many of my family members. I enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen. I identified with women and their conversations. I would prance around, and the males in my family noticed it. I heard constant whispers and questions about whether I was gay. My Uncle Mac, who had been to jail a couple of times for minor offenses, would always threaten to toughen me up. Many times I wanted to be more masculine and manly, but the results of my efforts were weak. I simply did not know how to be anyone other than me.

My mother, Esther, was a good Christian woman who made her family attend Church and Sunday school every week. She had strict spiritual beliefs and was the disciplinarian of the family. Her faith made her strong. My mother noticed my feminine qualities, and I think she sensed I was a vulnerable child who was easily offended and hurt. She never really made many comments about my softness, and we never spoke about it. I cooked and baked, and she never told me not to do those things. I knew she prayed that I would turn out okay. She believed God would fix everything, and for a long time, so did I. Neither of us knew any better. She was a stern, firm mother who loved all her children and would do what she believed was right for them.

She wanted the best for me, and pushed me to always do and be my best. She had four kids and only one of us married. To this day, she does not have one grandchild. My father died in the early nineties, and my mother never married again. She was a strong woman, and I loved her so. I wanted to please her and make her proud, but I knew I could not fulfill her dreams for me. How far could I go without sacrificing myself? She knew deep inside that I was a rare bird, but she never said a thing. At times, she mentioned that homosexuality was a sin and outside of God's law.

My father, Bubba, was an easy-going pleaser. He was happiest doing anything to make his children happy. He was an ex-army guy, employed as a civil servant with the federal government. He always worked two to three jobs to make sure we had everything we wanted. He was the guy who helped you whenever you needed it. He was spiritual but not religious. He went to church to make my mother happy, and demanded us kids attend Sunday school and church. He was a good father and a good man.

He recognized I was unique and special but never discussed or mentioned it at all, though I am sure he got comments from his sister and her kids about me. He tried to please me with gifts, such as a motorcycle, a car, and joining the band. We would sit on the porch and talk, but we never really talked. I wanted to tell him something in me was different, that I felt different, but I never found the nerve to say anything.

My three siblings were Eric, Tonia and Dale. Eric was five years younger than me and was the real macho one. He played several sports well, was very handsome and always had women interested in him. My sister Tonia was the quiet one, introverted and into herself. She was never that good in school and had no activities outside the home. My baby brother, Dale, was the outgoing quick talker. He was always mother's baby because he was the baby.

Family reunions were stressful due to my effeminate behavior. My cousins would joke and whisper, and I would try to blow them off as best I could. I wanted to be a man, but deep inside, I did not know how. I knew I was supposed to be out playing football or shooting hoops with the guys, but that was just not my thing. I was not go

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