The 2001 documentary “Southern Comfort” tells the story of the final year in the life of a transgender man named Robert Eads. Eads was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors who feared treating him would hurt their professional reputations.
By the time he finally found someone to treat him, the cancer was too advanced to save his life. Eads spends his remaining time with his “chosen family,” including Lola, a transgender woman with whom he falls in love. He addresses the crowd at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta in one of the film’s many moving moments.
While the movie is dated, many of the issues still remain, including difficulty for transgender individuals attempting to navigate the already complicated health care system in this country. That is something we took a look at recently in an article highlighting cancer issues within the transgender community, with a focus on breast cancer.
The film won the Grand Jury Prize (Documentary) at the Sundance Film Festival, the First Prize from Seattle International Film Festival and the Special Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival.