Southern Comfort (2001 film)

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Southern Comfort
Directed by Kate Davis
Produced by Kate Davis
Music by Joel Harrison
Cinematography Kate Davis
Edited by Kate Davis
Distributed by HBO Documentary
Release dates
Running time
90 mins
Country USA
Language English

Southern Comfort is a 2001 documentary film about the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by a dozen doctors out of fear that treating such a patient would hurt their reputations. By the time Eads received treatment, the cancer was too advanced to save his life.[1]


The film begins in the spring and documents Eads' life through the following winter. Eads falls in love with Lola, a transgender woman. He spends those remaining warm days in the company of his "chosen family": Maxwell, Cas, and "the rest". That summer, his mother and father drive ten hours to visit Robert, who is still their daughter in their eyes. Later that year, Eads makes his last appearance at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, a prominent[2] transgender gathering. Already feeling ill, he addresses a crowd of 500 and takes Lola to what is for them a prom that never was. Shortly after the conference, Eads dies in a nursing home with his chosen family.

After Eads' death, his ashes were spread across the family farm around a lone Christmas tree which was to symbolize Robert's many changes and blossomings in life.

Eads' friends, Tom and Debbie King, also appear in the film. They saved Eads' life when he collapsed in a pool of his own blood while staying with them. They initially sought treatment for Eads but were unable to locate a doctor willing to treat a transgender man.

Robert's lifelong struggle to have his outer appearance match his inner self is a salient theme in the movie. All persons portrayed in the movie wrestle with themes of rejection from others, rejection of self, feeling ostracized from humanity and ultimately crafting their own lives and personal support systems.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ravishankar, Mathura (January 18, 2013). "The Story About Robert Eads". The Journal of Global Health. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Erhardt, Virginia (2007). Head over heels: wives who stay with cross-dressers and transsexuals. Haworth Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7890-3094-8. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Long Night's Journey Into Day
Sundance Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Succeeded by
Daughter from Danang