Book News...

Sep 2004:  A book review was included in the Lambda Literary Review Magazine this month:

Crossing the Binary Divide
Reviewed by Willow Arune
Lambda Book Report - August/September 2004
Wrapped in Blue - By Donna Rose (Living Legacy Press)

Aside from the small number of novels and a large number of nonfiction treatises, the transgender community presents itself to us in print by way of a growing number of autobiographies.  Their claim on us is an explanation for a certain life pattern still viewed as extraordinary, of those who switch from being male to female, or female to male.  On a broader scale, the transsexual narrative invites us into an ordinary world, shaken to its roots by a unique and overwhelming demand; not external, but from the self.  It takes us on a voyage that takes courage and fortitude to get from one pole to another, from one sex to another across the binary divide.

Wrapped in Blue is one such story.  Well-written and very candid, it is the story of Dave who finds a need to become Donna.  Dave is your stereotypical suburban husband.  A typical childhood, unmarred with tales of abuse or tribulation.  A wife, one child, a home, a career.  Then one day....He tells his wife.  The reaction is "Oh, God!" and tears.

The issue remains there for ten undoubtedly long years.  Dave seeks answers in private therapy, and he finds his new identity.  A small additional medical charge leads to disclosure, sanction and separation.  Almost to the edge, he pulls back.  A six-week hiatus and things move forward, this time different, more assured, more positive - all the way to genital and full facial surgery.

This is a book on relationships - with wife, children and friends.  Dave, now Donna, still loves his wife.  Some, perhaps many, will say he owes his wife more than he gives.  Others will look deeper into why the rigid rules of our society force his wife, as much as Donna, into confrontation that costs both dearly.  Why does this condition - a medical condition called gender identity disorder - divide those who love when cancer, a heart attack and almost any other condition uniting both behind a common foe?  Should Dave, as his wife urges, fight against that which turns him into Donna?  Or should his wife try to be more understanding?  This book reports, but does not try to conclude.

Donna gains new relationship with her mother, her sister and her family.  She eventually finds a new relationship with her son.  But the losses are indeed heart-wrenching and call into question the very foundation of her interaction with others.  As her marriage comes to a close, Donna finds other relationships also changing: longtime friends, work friends, new friends - all stand in judgment.  Many are lost, fading away slowly.  For a transsexual, transition is a time of loss, then a time to build anew.  For many, as with Donna a move to a new town and job represent the only answer.

What force is this that causes a person to take such a risk, to lose what is so dear?  What rules in our society demand such a price?  Donna Rose takes us along the way honestly, giving first his then her thoughts and feelings.  In the end, Wrapped in Blue is a study of a condition, a need, that forces those affected to undertake great risk and sacrifice in order to shift roles in our society.  It is a demonstration of human courage and persistence.


Jan 2004:  I added a chapter from my book to my website.  It's dedicated to my father: My Father's Ashes


Nov 2003:  Now that I'm becoming more recognized as an author I'm invited to speak at bookstores and events around the country (as though writing a book makes me any more qualified to speak about this than I was before).  I must admit that I find this tremendously rewarding, as I really think people need face-to-face opportunities to hear us and see us as we really are if we're to overcome this awkward barrier that seems to exist. 


November 14, 2003: Books: News/Print
By: Shawn Badgley

BIG events upcoming: Martin Amis and Yellow Dog at Barnes & Noble Arboretum, Friday, Nov. 14, 7:30pm; on the same night at 7pm, transsexual Donna Rose and Wrapped in Blue: A Journey of Discovery followed the next night, Saturday, Nov. 15, at 7pm by Dick Armey and Armey's Axioms, both at BookPeople, by God;



Nov 2003: The Texas Book Festival was tremendous fun.  I was proud to participate in this wonderful event, and I thank the selection committee for taking the chance and the risk of inviting me.  I think it says quite a bit not only about the value of this book, but about the general acceptance we're beginning to experience in mainstream America.  We have a long way to go, but the world is indeed changing.

As part of the Book Festival, I was interviewed and profiled on  It's a pretty interesting interview, so feel free to read it if you're interested. 

 Click Here.


Participating in a panel discussion on memoirs at the Texas Book Festival

August 2003:  I have been invited to be a "Featured Author" at the Texas Book Festival to be held at the State Capitol Building in Austin on Nov. 8-9, 2003.  I will be joining such notable authors as Dan Rather, Dave Barry, Herman Wouk, Mitch Albom, Gov. Ann Richards, Amy Tan, and Scott Turow, among others.  Last year's event drew over 30,000 people to celebrate books and writing by attending readings, signings and panel discussions.  I am both honored and humbled to be included in this very prestigious event. 

July 2003 : The first chapter from the book has been published on  I have received an enormous amount of mail from that, and appreciate the wonderful sentiments being shared. The fact that people take the time to read it, and to write to me about it, reaffirms my original belief that education is the key to understanding, and acceptance.     Read it here.

May 2003:

I have written a book about my life, my transition, and my unique perspective on things.  The title of the book is Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Discovery (Living Legacy Press, 2003).  I'd like to share some of my thoughts on it....


My story is certainly not unique.  There are hundreds, probably thousands, of people who have had thoughts and experiences similar to my own.  And there will be thousands more who have yet to realize their "fate."  It took me a long time to realize that, and I think part of the comfort that others get from reading my book is the reassurance that they're not alone.

Oddly enough, I never intended to write a book.  Although I consider myself competent when expressing myself through my writing, I never imagined myself as an "author".  Instead, the seed for the book was born out of my deeply personal need to review a very difficult time in my life after having let some time and distance pass.  It came from my need to put my transition, and how those experiences fit in my life as a whole, into perspective; with a clearer mind and a more mature attitude than when I had been in the throes of a painful and difficult battle for survival.

Thankfully, I had collected many artifacts from my transition: emails to friends and family, letters, my journal.  After I moved someplace new to start my new life free from the difficulty of being one of them, I somehow needed to find a sense of closure before I could move on.  And as I compiled all of these various remembrances into a single document, the enormity of what had happened slowly dawned on me.

The realization that this experience had value to others took a while to hatch, especially as I struggled to find the boundaries of where I could live my life as Donna, and how I could support our community without totally compromising myself , or even more especially, my son. 

But as I began to speak in public as an educator and an advocate, I began to realize that this saga was not simply a transsexual saga.  It was a universally human story, only with a unique plot twist.  The emotions involved are emotions we all feel, whether facing up to our parents, our spouse, or ourselves.  And the process of self-discovery in a land where there are no rules, is something that each of us must do in our life, no matter what or who we are.  As I spoke to university students, I could tell by looking at their faces that they understood that, and that the barriers that separated transsexual from the rest of society came down, if only for a short time.  That connection, and the need to communicate it, became a driving force in my effort to effectively capture the personal, emotional nature of my story in print.

This book would never have seen light of day if not for the efforts and support from a very amazing group of people.  I constantly doubted whether the passion and emotion could translate effectively from feeling to printed word.  I constantly doubted whether others would be able to glean the message from my story.  I constantly doubted whether this was "book material."

Amazingly enough, the people who have entered my life as a result of this effort are as amazing and extraordinary as any I have ever met.  They have helped to bring me down off the ceiling when I started to bounce too high.  They have helped to show me that the beauty of a book is not the message that goes INTO the's the message that comes OUT of it that counts.  And, they have helped me overcome the anxiety I felt at having my most personal experiences available for public scrutiny; the good and the bad....the pretty and the ugly.  It's all there. 


Wrapped In Blue is available from:

The next step in this process is to widen the distribution channel, so expect to see it more widely available soon.  Stop by local bookstores and ask about it. 


Miscellaneous Stuff:


Books on subjects like this are difficult to write, and even more difficult to get published and distributed.  It's only through the support of our community that stories like mine, and like yours, become books.  But if I have learned anything in the process of becoming an author, it's that books really can change lives.  And as I watch my story heading on out into the world to face a life of its own I feel a little like a parent watching a child leaving home.  I feel a huge sense of pride, a little sense of apprehension, and a new question fills my mind.....What next?!


3/16/03.  The book effort is in high gear.  I can't believe it's actually going to happen.  Cover design is nearly complete. The final copy edits are almost done, so all that's left is page layout and printing.   Based on current timelines, we are expecting a publication date of the softbound editions in mid-May.

The title of the book is "Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Discovery".  Pre-orders will be accepted through the publisher's website beginning on April 1, 2003 (more info to come on that).  If you have interest in following the progress, please forward your email address, and I'll write once definite information becomes available.  Stay tuned!

1/22/03.  As some of you may know, I have written a book about my life, my transition, and the unique perspective that I feel it has given me. 

The concept for the book was born out of my attempt to collect and compile the many journal entries, emails, letters, photos, and documents that I had gathered throughout my transition.  I found that reflecting on things with the benefit of hindsight, and with a much calmer and more mature perspective, was a very cathartic process for me.  As I reviewed everything I had gathered, I slowly realized that I had been through something pretty remarkable, and that sharing it with others could help them in their own life struggles.

Although the book covers my entire life, it primarily centers around the 3 very difficult years I spent coming to terms with my situation, transitioning, and preparing for and having SRS.  Much of the text comes from my journal, from emails and letters that I wrote and received during that timeframe, and from personal recollections.

The book is not a "Dummies Guide To Transsexuals".  Instead, I think the thing that is sorely missing in widespread release are personal accounts that put a human face on a topic steeped in ignorance, fear, and misconception.  That is the value I hope that my book can provide.

At this point, my manuscript is nearly 400 MS-Word double-spaced pages long.  It has taken me over two years to write and refine.  I'm working with some amazing people who seem to feel the same sense of pride in what I've accomplished that I do, and share my vision for telling this story.  We're in the final phases of proofing, and are hoping that the book will be released for national distribution this spring.


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