Donna Rose is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and advocate for transgender and transsexual issues. Her work with corporate America earned recognition as a “Gay Corporate Leader” by The Advocate Magazine in April 2006, led to being co-chair the annual Out and Equal Workplace Summit in 2008, and earned a spot as a repeat presenter at the annual SHRM Diversity Conference in 2009 and again in 2010. Her work has helped to shape LGBT workplace policy in corporations across America and to raise awareness of the unique considerations and challenges involved.
Donna is invited to share her unique journey and perspective at universities, businesses, and conferences around the country. Her engaging, interesting, and inspiring talks put a face to an issue that too often remains steeped in misconception.
Donna’s award-winning 2003 memoir, “Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Discovery” continues to educate and inspire. She has been featured in USA Today, CNN, Fortune, Entertainment Tonight, Marie Claire, Diversity Inc., the Advocate, Harvard Business Review and countless local and national stories.
Selected Awards and Achievements
Donna was the first openly transgender member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Board of Directors (Washington, DC). She also served as the Board Co-Chair for Diversity.
Donna served a member of the HRC Business Council, a group of corporate leaders that manages and implements the annual HRC Corporate Equality Index. She is also featured in an acclaimed HRC Transgender training video. Portions of the video are available online at the HRC website.
Donna is the first openly transgender member of the Board of Directors for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), and for GLAAD.
Past Transgender 101 training clients include Eastman Kodak, Con-Edison, JC Penny, Sodexo, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, JD Edwards, America Online, JPMorgan Chase, Starbucks, Cox, Frito Lay, Shell Oil, Dell, the USGS, the US EPA, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the US Dept. of the Interior, and others.
Donna has led day-long Transgender Intensive training sessions at Out and Equal since 2006, served on the Transgender Advisory Committee, and was co-chair for the Annual Workplace Summit in 2008 which attracted over 2,500 attendees from across the country.
Donna’s website, www.donnarose.com, is a nationally respected source of information and support for/about the transgender community.
Donna presented at the annual SHRM Diversity Conference in 2009, and will do so again in 2010.
Diana Fronterhouse is a lifelong broadcaster living in Phoenix, Arizona. She was on the radio professionally for the first time just two weeks prior to her 16th birthday. Starting out as a disc-jockey, she quickly learned her real passion was in audio production, creative writing, and voiceover. “I liked having a ʻrewindʼ button nearby.” she has said. “Once you do something LIVE…BOOM, itʼs gone forever. Iʼd much rather have the time and added resources to make it more theatrical and visual for the mindʼs eye.”
In 1990, Diana married her bank teller. They have a teenage son who, it turns out, is much smarter than her. Diana is fine with this.
Over her career, Diana honed her creative skills at several radio stations on several formats like adult contemporary, album rock, top 40, talk radio, and country. She has worked in such diverse places as Tulsa, Oklahoma, Little Rock, Arkansas, Santa Maria, California, and finally settling in Phoenix, Arizona where Diana and her wife currently reside with their son and the ironically-named Shih Tzu “Happy.” She will proudly tell you with a laugh- “Iʼve been hired and fired from only the finest radio stations.” Diana has received many awards and honors from several local, national, and international competitions. Sheʼs been recognized for projects such as a local adaptation of Orson Wellesʼ War of The Worlds set in modern day Arizona. Diana was also voted “Production Person of The Year” in 2000 by her peers in Phoenix. In 2002, she started her own creative audio company and has never looked back producing voiceover and creative audio for clients all over the country.
Diana was assigned male at birth in 1964. In the Spring of 2014, at 50 years old, after a lifetime of suffering crippling dysphoria, depression, and self-denial, she finally came to accept her truth- she was transgender and she had to do something about it. In the biggest leap of faith of her life, she began transitioning to female. Diana and her wife worked diligently to hold their marriage together. Today Dianaʼs wife and son are her biggest supports. Her “oxygen,” as she calls them.
Ten years earlier, in her search for information about what she was dealing with, Diana discovered a blog written by a transsexual woman. She was fascinated and moved by the eloquent, emotionally vulnerable writings she found there. Diana devoured every word and was truly inspired by the amazingly successful example of this amazing writer and advocate. For the first time in her life, Diana realized that living her truth happily and unapologetically… was possible. Diana followed everything she could find by this blogger including her book, articles, TV appearances, videos, even a foreword to Dr. Douglas Ousterhoutʼs book on Facial Feminization. For over a decade, Diana admired this person from afar, hoping one day to simply meet her to let her know how much she helped her come to terms with whom she had always been inside.
That person was Donna Rose.
Through an amazingly coincidental twist of fate, Donna returned to Phoenix and Diana met her in the spring of 2016 at a gala in Phoenix presented by The Human Rights Campaign. They were fast friends. Every time they got together, they talked for hours and hours. Diana has said of their friendship, “Knowing Donna is like having personal access to your favorite author. Talking to her is like being inside an engrossing documentary.” For years, the idea of a podcast had been swimming around in both their heads, and they both soon committed to join forces and together make that happen.
Diana says, “The Deeper End is, for me, the best example I can think of in my career that is purely a labor of love. Everyone benefits from community. It always helps to simply learn youʼre not alone. When I was a teenager in Oklahoma, for a time, I really thought I might be the only one whoʼs ever lived that had to deal with this. That was terrifying. Weʼre doing this not only for the people coming up behind us, but also for the people who donʼt understand, but would like to, I think weʼre in a unique position to provide that explanation. Weʼll talk about things that virtually everybody can identify with- from a human perspective- via trans experience. Donna is a renowned leader and pioneer in our community, Iʼm a veteran broadcaster, and weʼre both transgender. Iʼm so proud to be part of something that brings our two histories together in this way. To be partnered with someone of Donnaʼs authority and insight to tell real, human stories about this grand journey called life, in a fun, interesting, and new way is simply astounding for me. Itʼs like a dream.”