This is the opening volume of RJA’s life work, his Unofficial Semi-Autobiography- 1,600 pages long, which has been divided into 5 parts for publishing purposes in the underground RED JORDAN PRESS. Each volume is sold individually or the whole setMoreThis is the opening volume of RJA’s life work, his Unofficial Semi-Autobiography- 1,600 pages long, which has been divided into 5 parts for publishing purposes in the underground RED JORDAN PRESS. Each volume is sold individually or the whole set together. This book in its original typewritten font, unspellchecked, is a collectors dream!
AUTUMN CHANGES begins with 2 short introductory pieces. TALES OF TRANSMAN Parts 1 & 2, where we encounter the 5 year old Red in his family home on the South Side of Chicago. Scenes switch fast up to 1998, still female bodied, then jumps back to 1948, to depict more of Red’s history as a boy/girl- a mixed raced tomboy, that defines his childhood in the colored ghetto of Chicago¡Çs South Side. Glimpses of this early crossdresser (age 7), playing baseball outdoors in the alley with other boys, or inside with chemistry, and erector sets & refusing to play with dolls.
Becoming aware of his sexuality later in teenage, by reading pulp novels such as Journey to a Woman, and Ann Bannon’s Bebo Brinker series. In some instances AUTUMN CHANGES resembles the whole regular shebang of trans auto biographies -- except this one is different----Transman is an artist, a spiritual searcher, & a sexual libertine.
Arobateau’s style is to flash back & forth in his memories rather then a typical linear progression. A different date annotates the subsequent paragraph, and locates the reader immediate in time: 1972 Transman purchases a kingsized bed.--Visualizing many hot naked females in it. Does not realize it will be nearly 15 solid years of more aloneness interspersed by 4 or 5 aborted relationships and a dozen 20 minute hookers, until he meets his wife.
AUTUMN CHANGES is a bookfull of procedural information about FTM’s & MTF’s as well- something most trans books (fiction/autobiographies) don’t have. Usually being about either one or the other- although the majority of it is about the men: ¡ÈIt¡Çs August 1998. 3 weeks away from top surgery. 2 months until his first hormone shot. A picture of the guys assembled at a support group: One handsome stocky male--with a totally flat chest leads the group. A greater butch then the others, he observes. Jealously wells up in Transman.
This is how he longs to look! Without hormone shots he never will.’This books snapshots flash back and forth. Red Jordan Arobateau, teenager. Young adult in his 20’s. And middle age. How change hurts his wife of 16 years--the lovely Jasmine: ¡ÈHow do you really think I’m going to react to this sex change? Says the wife at last, wearily.... I haven¡Çt thought about it really.
Confesses Transman. He’s so tired. It is the era of the transgender clinic. We see the Famous Tom Waddell facility in which we get a view of flamboyant colorful girls as well as the boys: At the time the doctors thought it would serve exclusively male to female sex workers who lived in the Tenderloin.
Now it sees trannys coming from all over. Arobateau packs so much information into this amazing book- medical, surgical procedures for both MTF’s and FTM’s- race, class, spirituality, & plots- huge amounts of dialogue which are often funny- confessions during support groups. He shows how important transition is to the true transsexual: It is of vital importance to be masculine. To uphold his manhood.--Even while still inside a girl body. Womanizing kinds of things tear down his/her ego, and her maleness.
The best intentioned shopclerks who recognize a woman under his mashed down cap, and address him politely as Mam¡ after scrutiny, doing their best to be polite- the large men who step aside and let him go through a door first--is it his age--or his perceived gender? It ¡s too feminizing. He would go back to using drugs. Drink himself to death.