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Friday, January 4, 2013

FREE KINDLE E-BOOK ALERT: Climbing Life's Mountains by Jala A. McKenzie-Burns



Climbing Life's Mountains by Jala A. McKenzie-Burns
http://bit.ly/ClimbingLifesMountains 

In life, everyone climbs mountains. Jala A. McKenzie-Burns shares her story, Climbing Life’s Mountains, which explores the many challenges that faced her from birth. As a biracial child, she was left in the hospital, then placed into foster care. Her education began from the time she was born through the reactions and events around her. Her education continued with the teachings of the Civil Rights Movement, watching the Civil Rights’ marches on television and listening to the I-Have-a-Dream speech on the radio. Her early lessons taught her to stand up for her beliefs and soon paid off. 

After being adopted by an African-American family, she faced many confrontations from both white and black children. Along the way, she realized she was a female. Through her service in the U.S. Marine Corps, working in politics, gaining a college education, marrying a woman she loved, and raising their child, she tried to hide her feminine desires, but the pain never stopped at not being able to express who she really was. According to society, she was supposed to live her life as a male. While she participated in many activities to fight her inner conflict, she couldn’t force a square peg into a round hole. When she shared her gender conflict with her adoptive mother, her mother kicked her out of her life. 

In her book, Jala discusses her full transition experience so that she can help others with their gender-identity conflict. During her transition, she fell into a deep depression. With this illness, she practiced many unhealthy coping mechanisms. During a major portion of her life, she had yearned to find her biological mother. After many attempts, she was finally reunited with her biological mother and sister. Years later, after reconnecting with both her biological and adoptive families, she began to overcome depression. She shares her story of depression, believing that if she can overcome it, so can others. She combines her autobiography and insights about gender identity transition with interviews from family members, other transgender females, and a psychologist who specializes in Gender Identity Disorder.

In the section called “Adoption and Finding My Biological Family,” she includes three special interviews. First, her adoptive brother, Derrick, is a highly successful individual who graduated from Princeton University. He shares their experiences of growing up together. Second, Karen, her biological sister, tells of her experience as being one of four siblings who were taken by the state of Georgia. And third, Patricia, the only child out of all six siblings who was raised by her biological family, tells of the pain she encountered, knowing her siblings were out there. Jala and her siblings share the steps they took to find their biological families. The story explores times of laughter and times of tears, hoping to help others overcome their personal challenges.



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