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Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Discovery Paperback – May 1, 2003

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Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Discovery + She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders + Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Living Legacy Press (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972955305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972955300
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This book reads with a clear honesty which brings to light its trenchant, powerful story in a captivating way. -- Kate Davis, Producer/Director "Southern Comfort"

Transitioning through gender reassignment, hers is a solid, heartfelt awakening of femininity and masculinity. Hope is buoyed for us all. -- Gianne E. Israel, Author/Gender Specializing Counselor

…the crossing of the inviolable gender border...takes on the beautiful mythic proportion of the hero's journey. -- Randi Ettner, PhD, Author

About the Author

Donna Rose has a remarkable story. For her first 40 years she lived a successful and seemingly full life as a man. She was a world-class collegiate athlete, a husband, a father and a successful businessman. That world imploded under her need to explore and reconcile vexing gender confusion that had plagued her since childhood.

Donna's transformation has been extraordinary. Very few who meet her today have any clue about her unique pedigree. She is a noted speaker and educator, as well as an advocate for transgender and diversity issues. She actively promotes the power of the human spirit, and the ability that each of us has to define and manage our lives.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 44 customer reviews
I found myself engrossed in this book from the first chapter, and read its 361 pages in two sittings.
Kay Gee
I highly recommend this book as a great first read to begin learning about transgendered individuals and the unique struggles faced by anyone challenging gender norms.
Donna Rose is a brave and beautiful woman who is also a vulnerable person who had doubts but faced all her fears and persevered to find true peace and her true self.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Wrapped in Blue, a frank and sincere memoir about one man�s physical and emotional journey into womanhood (including sex-reassignment surgery), is surprisingly well-written, considering the author is not a schooled writer. History, fact, and narrative were balanced by realistic dialogue and vivid scenes.
David Rose had a �normal� childhood, became a jock, married, and had a son. At several points in his life, he fantasized about being a woman, occasionally donning women�s clothing in private, and even Dave/now Donna acknowledges that the early years of his marriage and the years after the birth of his son were some of the happiest and most fulfilling of her life.
But always, somewhere within lurked the gender bender tiger, and inevitable the tiger pounced. Dave became driven to face these difficult issues and explore the much misunderstood need to become the woman he had always felt himself to be.
Excellent story-telling. Astounding photos.
For a very different style of telling this uncommon tale, read Jan Morris�s Conundrum. Unlike Donna Rose, Morris is a thoroughly experienced and superb writer. Her tale of the same journey is lyrical, passionate, funny, and so literary it�ll knock your socks off. Without Morris�s book out there as the gold standard, I�d have given Wrapped in Blue 5 stars. But for a 4-star read, it�s darned good.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By James S. Pauloski on March 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Why would a person spend over $75,000.00, risk losing family and friends, undergo emotional abuse and endure the limit of human torture, just to "change sex"? Because after decades of pretending, the agony of continuing the pretense is an even worse choice.
I have read a number of autobiographies of transsexuals over the years. But Donna Rose's autobiography is FAR beyond anyone else's that I've read. There's a high Shakespearean quality to it, such as her early chapter entitled "A Metaphor" and her many journal entries. She frequently depressed me (such as when she "pulled the plug"), and then sent me soaring (when she met Kate, and her physical and psychological triumph at Neenah).
Some of Ms. Rose's journal entries were so poignant and so haunting ("we need love and compassion and companionship more than anyone could know, but we're trapped with secrets of a second life that will haunt us until we die") that they seared my soul. Her book rattled me for several days afterwards that I couldn't write about it. It moved me THAT much.
I have read many descriptions about facial feminization surgery (FFS), but no one ever described the unbelievably intense pain associated with it. Similarly, no one EVER described the TORTURE that she willingly but necessarily subjected herself with electrolysis of the scrotum. I've had six surgeries in my life, but I'm certain that the pain of all six combined did not equal either the pain of any transsexual's FFS or electrolysis. She shook me to my core. But it helped to free her to become Donna.
I agree with another reviewer that it would have been nice if Donna had spent more time discussing her life since SRS (she only devoted 10 of the 356 pages to it.) But her 10 simple tips are timeless to everyone at any stage in their lives.
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Linda Simpson on November 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Having traveled the journey myself I have become bored with many of the biographical accounts of gender transformation that are out there. HOWEVER: Donna's story is not one of those. Her honest and candid details combined with an intelligent literary style presents the story in a manner that makes one laugh at a humorous incident one page then brings tears at the sorrow on another.

Donna's sharing of her families dynamics over the transition situation are the most interesting. She has a spouse who is not only unsupportive but is to such a degree that she tries to prevent Donna from seeking help in the early "questioning" days. While spousal acceptance of Gender Dysphoria is rare, Donna is taken to the extreme of pain and hardship in this case. In contrast, Donna's extended family accept her with little fanfare and turn out to be supportive and loving above and beyond...another rarity.

Reliving Donna's account of these opposites combined with an excellent overview of the processes involved in a sex change transition make this book difficult to put down until one is at the end at which point left me with only more questions. With the feeling of "knowing" Donna because of this excellent detailed book I now wonder "what has happened since." What happened to Elizabeth, her son, her career etc etc.

Good luck to you Donna and I recommend this book to anyone interested in Gender Dysphoria, be it to find information for oneself or on what the journey can entail. It is also just dam good reading to for anyone who enjoys a dramatic story.

Linda A. Simpson



Linda's Peaceful Garden: [...]

Linda's Transsexuality Retreat: [...]

Linda's Gender Reassignment in Montréal: [...]
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
A book of this type raises the question of intended audience. It is of course of intense interest to anyone deeply interested in gender identity issues. How does it work within that context? But further, how does it speak to the human condition in total?
A number of reviewers have given the opinion that this is in fact a work of great interest and value to all readers. As a transgender woman myself, I don't know that I can speak to that issue. It was too intensely personal for me. But what made it so personal is that it is so real and so raw. And that, in the end, may be what elevates it to a work that does in fact speak to everyone.
Ms. Rose delves deeply into the most basic emotions that she feels, showing all the doubts, all the fears, all the struggles, all the hopes, all the joys, all the pain.
I'm told that of all TG people who begin the year long "Real Life Test" only about 10% complete the process. Ms. Rose's work clearly shows what the issues are which make it such a difficult path to tread.
In the end, it is a most inspiring triumph, the triumph of finding, accepting, loving and living one's true self. And that ultimately is a path that all people walk.
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