Trapped In Blue - The Manuscript Papers

Aug. 6, 2006

I have been threatening for quite a while now to publish the original manuscript papers for my book, Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Discovery.  It is with some trepidation that I post them here today.

My book is a relatively polished, edited, made-for-publication "product".  I don't mean that word in a bad way, but that's just the reality of publishing.  There are trade-offs that must be made when preparing a story for general publication.  For example, I was told at the very beginning that the maximum length for the book could be 350 pages.  That meant editing decisions needed to be made to ensure that happened.  Formatting decisions needed to be made.  General flow needed to be established.  In the process, the original idea somehow changed.  Again - that's not a bad thing.  It's just a thing.

I think it would be helpful to provide some insight into the process by which my story became a book in the first place...

I never meant for my story to be seen by anybody but me.  When I transitioned my goal was to fade into society as Donna and live my life.  I had spent a great deal of money, endured an incredible amount of pain and loss, and believed that my destiny was to live quietly as my authentic self.  By late 2001 I was well on my way to making that happen.  I had moved to Texas, had started a new job as Donna, and there were very little day-to-day reminders of what I had been through to get there.

The problem that started to gnaw at me was the realization that something was missing.  The more I searched for what that might be, the more it became apparent what it was: Closure.  I had been through something extraordinary, and in the heat of all the emotion and events I never really had the opportunity to consider it all and put it into context.  It hadn't been long before that my gender journey had been all-consuming, and I found myself living a life in which it was virtually nothing.  I don't like absolutes, so there needed to be some middle ground.  That was the original motivation for what became my book.

During my transition I needed outlets.  All this incredible stuff was happening and I needed ways to share it, to get it out of me.  My outlet was my writing.  I kept a journal.  I developed some deep email relationships.  When things would happen I'd write how I was feeling and what I was thinking.  It seemed like every day brought something new.  In retrospect, my writing was another form of therapy for me.  I found that writing things down, finding the words to articulate them in print, somehow made them easier to handle.  When things seemed overwhelming and terrifying I found that taking the time to write it out somehow made it better.  It became a catharsis for me, and I can't recommend finding similar outlets for others dealing with their own overwhelming situations.

Anyway, I took almost a year to compile all the various journal entries, emails, letters, and stuff that I had accumulated over the course of my transition.  I put them all together into one big story.  As I re-lived what had happened through my writing it became apparent to me that the story was more than simply about a gender transition.  It was a human story of becoming.  I started to consider whether I wanted to share it with others, and the rest is history.

This manuscript represents the initial compilation of writings that later became Wrapped In Blue.  It was my first attempt to put the various writings into context and to share the personal nature of what I had experienced.  Subsequently, editors determined that the day-to-day events of my life didn't add to the story so most of the initial writing was dropped.  However, I believed then and still believe that the original writings tell a different side of the story that others might find compelling.  They may not be polished, but they're still valuable.

When you read this you'll find some things will make sense, and others won't.  At the time I hadn't gone through the process of filling all the holes with details or explanations.  I still haven't.  Some of it is mundane - going to electrolysis, my work routine, etc. - but I think it's important to get the bigger picture of what was happening at the time.  If you want to get the full story - I strongly urge you to read the book.  In fact, these manuscripts aren't meant to be a replacement for the book.  They're more like a supplement, a behind-the-scenes "making of" extra - if you will....

Warning:  The book is deeply personal.  These writings are even more so.  If things happen where I feel compromised in any way, or if I encounter problems from sharing this I'll take it down.  It's that simple.  Sharing yourself involves a leap of faith, and putting this out there for general consumption is a leap for me.  I put these here in hopes it will help others in their own lives, not for any other reason.  If people can read it in the spirit with which it is shared, it will have been worth it.

I am putting the first half out there first.  It covers the early part of my life, through my first day at work as Donna (Oct. 4, 2000).  If time helps me to learn that it does have value and I become more comfortable than I am today I'll share the other half. 

These documents are in Adobe .pdf format.  You will need a free Adobe Acrobat reader to view them.

Without further delay, here is it.  I hope you enjoy it.

Trapped In Blue: The Manuscript Papers.  Part 1.

Photo section from Wrapped In Blue


Aug. 17, 2007

It has been a year since I posted the first half of these documents.  I haven't gotten any negative responses, and in fact some have said they have enjoyed this glimpse of things.  So, before I change my mind, I'm ready to share more.  Part 2 starts where Part 1 ended - my first day at work.  It continues through the end of 2000 - after SRS.  At that point I had moved to Austin, TX to begin a new life there as Donna.

I want to reiterate that these pages are very raw.  I can't take the time to go through them and edit them other than change names to protect the privacy of those involved.  Most of them are journal entries and emails from way back when and are included here word for word.

So, here it is.  Part 2.

Trapped In Blue: The Manuscript Papers.  Part 2.


Note:  These documents remain the property of Donna Rose.  They cannot be reproduced in any form without my written consent.