She was born in Wimbledon and has lived and worked in Brighton since 1997. Rose was a key project member in Framed Youth - the revenge of the teenage perverts, a film produced by the Lesbian and Gay Youth Video Project in 1983 .
She was a member of the world’s first gay ceilidh group, and performs with the Rainbow Chorus. In 2006, she wrote and researched online content for the Icons Project, a national web project on British culture, commissioned by Culture Online. In 2007, she contributed to the online exhibition and website dedicated to the life and works of Joe Orton.
Her books include:
- Colonel Barker’s Monstrous Regiment: A Tale of Female Husbandry (Virago 2000 & 2001)
- A Trouser-Wearing Character: The Life and Times of Nancy Spain (Cassell 1997 & 1999)
- Portraits To The Wall, a celebration of lesbian lives hitherto concealed by history (Cassell 1994).
- The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica (2000)
- The New Encyclopaedia of Brighton (2010)
In 2021 Collis published a video film 'The Boy and the Bear' .
- The film won the 1983 British Film Institute Grierson Award for Best Documentary. It was broadcast on Channel 4 in December 1986. see Clifford Williams (forthcoming 2021) Courage to Be: Gay Youth in England 1967-1990 (Book Guild Ltd.)