Robert EadsAge 53 (born 18 Dec 1945)
17 Jan 1999
Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
TDoR list ref: tdor.info/17 Jan 1999/Robert Eads
Robert died from ovarian cancer after more than a dozen doctors refused to treat him fearing that taking a trans man on as a patient might harm their practice.
By the time he found a doctor willing to treat the cancer it had spread to other parts of his body.
Robert Eads (December 18, 1945 – January 17, 1999) was a trans man from Toccoa, Georgia, whose life and death was the subject of the award-winning documentary Southern Comfort (2001). Eads transitioned later in life and was advised not to seek hysterectomy due to his age. He was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1996 and more than a dozen doctors refused to treat him fearing that taking him on as a patient might harm their practice. When he was finally accepted for treatment in 1997 the cancer had “already metastasized to other parts of the body, rendering any further treatments futile.” Robert Eads died on January 17, 1999.
I wish I could understand why they did what they did, why they had to feel that way… And I know in a way they’ve contributed to my dying here. But I can’t hate them. I don’t hate them. I feel sorry for them… What makes me most sad is they probably felt like they did the right thing. – Robert Eads in Southern Comfort
A trans man named Robert Eads died of ovarian cancer after TWENTY SEPARATE DOCTORS refused to treat him. Lambda Legal reported that one of the doctors said the cancer diagnosis should make Eads “deal with the fact that he is not a real man.”— Sam Dylan Finch (@samdylanfinch) May 24, 2019
Two years after his death, Robert was the subject of the documentary "Southern Comfort”
17th January has since been named as Robert Eads Day In his memory.
Coinciding with Cervical Health Awareness Month, Robert Eads Day on January 17 honors the memory of Robert Eads and raises awareness for preventative care and early detection of cancer and HPV in trans men.