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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 + True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism--For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals
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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: #738,268 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 44 customer reviews
For a very different style of telling this uncommon tale, read Jan Morriss Conundrum.
Peggy Vincent
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.
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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 "emme_anne" on August 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
As my title indicates, this book is a must read for everyone, and especially those with ties to the transgender community. As a pre-op MTF transsexual, I found this book to be the most honest and straight-forward accounting on the subject to date. Donna's ability to offer up and express her most personal feelings and experiences is incredible. Speaking as someone whose life closely parallels hers in many areas, I can honestly say that bearing the most intimate details of my life to all is something I'd doubt I could do. Donna has the courage and stamina it takes to do this without editing or sugar coating the parts that we tend to keep most private and secure throughout our lives. Regardless of what the reason may be, when any person is placed in a situation where he or she has to do an in-depth self-examination of their very existence, the end result will usually produce some earth shattering observations. When dealing with topics such as gender identity and transsexuality, it can be an utterly horrifying experience. To take the information you've discovered in that self exam and offer ALL of it to the general public for their scrutiny takes an uncommon form of courage that never surfaces in a lot of us. Human beings in general, especially those born male, tend to covert our most private thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc., and hold them far from the public eye. More times than not, we keep the most private of this information away from even the people we're closest to.
Imagine having thoughts and feelings that you've been taught, and learned, throughout your life that are considered to be abnormal. Would you reveal these to the public? Most people would say never!
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