This week I talked with writer/musician Deena Kaye Rose about her must-read memoir Some Days Are Diamonds that chronicles Deena's life as a Nashville songwriter and her struggle to transition during a time when the term transgender didn't exist. In her true country voice Deena recounts her times with Nashville legends from conversations with Dolly Parton to style tips from Johnny Cash to writing the first lesbian country music song as well as the first and probably only country song about being transgender that ended up being a chart-topping hit. Deena pioneered LGBT issues in the country music scene in the 1970's the only way she knew how, through music. Only the observant knew the true meaning behind these heartfelt songs that came out of gender introspection. Her songs performed by country legends like John Denver were in actuality Deena Kaye Rose's way of coming out to the world, while not having to visually for fear of the shame, disappointment and hurt it would cause her family. I talked to Deena about the inspiration for her memoir and her spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what she hopes to accomplish with her work Rose stated:
First I want to do it for my community. I want to claim my little part of being transgender and the struggle with it. I'm a mature lady; I'm an older woman; I'm a senior citizen and I struggled with this at a time when we didn't even have the word. In fact, there wasn't any word until Christine Jorgensen and then it was sex change, you had a sex change and nobody knew that. In later years I read that she did not claim being transgender. She did not change her sex she changed her gender and there was nothing to call it. We didn't know there was anyone else. There's a great song by Barry Manilow called 'All The Time' and it says 'All the time I thought there's only me crazy in a way that I only could be...' and I wish I had written that and maybe I will but that's exactly how I felt in that time that there wasn't anyone else. But I want people my age to know that I was there too girl. We just didn't know about each other.
Deena Kaye Rose is a Nashville songwriting legend. She has written hundreds of songs for some of country's most renowned stars like Johnny Cash, Jerry Reed, John Denver and even wrote the theme song for the all-time American classic movie, "Smokey and the Bandit". Deena has done it all but she did much of it as a male writer with a feminine soul living inside yearning to come out. Some Days Are Diamonds chronicles the best and worst times of living the raucous and crazy musician life while suppressing her true feminine self in this fabulous new memoir. Today Deena is a transgender woman and activist sharing the history of her journey in performances and lectures around the country. She is letting the transgender community know they are not alone.
For More Info: deenakayerose.com