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Who is Toni?

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Hi my name is Dominique and Im fundraising for Toni.

Who is Toni?

My band Dogs and Diamonds put an ad on craigslist
some time ago looking for a 2nd guitar player .... and
WHOA! In walked Toni with her high heels, skintight
jeans hugging every curve, chiseled perfect make up with
extra shiny cherry red lipstick holding her guitar in one
hand and cigarette in the other. Alas! She played with
great tone and character. The surprise in the box? A deep
baritone rich singing voice a la Merle Haggard or Dwight
Yoakam. Quite a dichotomy. You could tell by the pain,
laughter and sorrow written on her soulful face that she
had been through a lot in life. I adored her immediately.
She had just rolled to town in her hot pink camper
decorated with faux wood window box planters full of
flowers billowing.
I asked her right away....Are you sure Texas is the place
for you to settle down? There is so much prejudice here.
Toni said she was planning to just drive through Austin
but fell for it. It was “The spot” for her to try a new
chapter where maybe she could be herself ( just coming
out as a Trans Gender Woman only 3 years ago). Now
ready to burst into life, get a job and play music.

When Toni was a little boy he was the black sheep in the
family born in a very conservative farming town in
Minnesota. His parents had 18 horses, chickens, goats
and pigs. Toni was a pretty boy so often bullied in school
and unfortunately had an extremely abusive Father who
was a part time Sheriff that had forced him into wrestling
of all things. Later on Toni’s Mom passed away ..literally
taken by a Tornado. It was not a surprise Toni ran from
home at 13 got caught in Colorado then had to go to Juvi
for vagrancy. The Police flew him back home then he
got beat up by Dad ..again , ran ...again and kept running
but this time with a (Sears Les Paul copy) guitar that his
brother had sitting around. At the age of 15 he was trying
to get to California but got stuck in Oklahoma and
hitchhiked with a Trucker . Trucker Joe ended up letting
Toni ride with him loading and unloading the truck which
ate up 2 years of time working and getting to drive all
around the nation while noodling on the guitar between
stops and adventures . This Trucker was a sort of a
mentor in a lot of ways helping Toni escape the fists of
his Father . Another person with a strong influence was
Toni’s Grandfather who was an electrician and taught
Toni that craft.
At 19 Toni joined the US ARMY infantry. He signed up to
be an electrician but they did the old bait- and -switch
trick . They pushed him to train. Within four years he
became one of eight who made it to top squad in
Germany in 1988.

The infantry had a wrestling team where he
could escape the guns and swamps for some time .
Toni came back to farm life while intermittently
playing in bands trying his best to do the Family thing
with a 20 Acre farm and cabin in Montana.
His pride and joy “Fawn Winter Rain McDonough” his
daughter was born. Life was not easy keeping his wife
and child happy but sticking it out doing all kinds of jobs
from electrician to carpentry to pumping liquid hog
manure to try and raise his daughter well yet never
feeling right in the core of his soul.
Now that Fawn is old enough Toni was ready to start
opening outward. The crushing load on his back trying to
fit in as a Man was just too much to bear.
At midlife into his 40’s he met a Dominatrix whom
(against her job's nature ..LOL) helped give him strength. It
was she who told Toni ...”IT IS TIME TO STOP HIDING
“at last.

So fast forward here SHE is now.
In Austin ...got the amp, got the guitar, got a skilled
trade , got the German Shepherd from the pound to
guard the guitars, got the camper and ready to roll.
But there is a big problem. We are in Texas. As everyone
knows Texas is not the most welcoming to the LGBT
community.

Toni’s staffing service got her a big commercial job in
Austin as an electrician. The contractor was happy with
the work Toni had done but the Job’s Super attendant
fired her because of being Trans and having a Pink
Camper! So this my friends is what inspired me to try and help my friend who
is having a tuff time.
She is too proud to ask anyone for help or even talk
about her other tragedies and PTSD so I thought If I
wrote about a bit of her story then some people may
help this brave gal so she can keep the generator on in
the Camper to keep it cool for her and her dog Haiku and
keep her car working so she can find a Job where there is
no prejudice.
My last question to her was what does she want people
to know. She said a book helped her and might help
others in her situation.
Its called “The Path of Power” by Son Bear, Wabun and
Barry Weinstock

Toni’s Goals
The love in her life is playing music and also her
belief in God has sent her on a mission to help bring
peace and unity to our divided nation. She also
wants to start a non-religious church, a mobile
portable worship service that feeds the homeless at
the same time.

Thanks for reading. Hope you can help even if just a little.
Dominique Davalos

Organizer

Dominique Davalos
Organizer
Austin, TX

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