Robert Allen Eads|
(December 18, 1945 - January 17, 1999) U.S.A.
Born Barbara Eads, female-to-male transsexual who lived in Toccoa, a town in the back hills of Georgia, and self-described as "hillbilly", Eads recalls his mother's response after the trauma and liberation of his transgender surgery: "The only thing she said was - Why couldn't you just stay gay?'" As it happened, Eads never once considered himself homosexual (except when, as a woman, he was married to a heterosexual man).
For many, the trailer-home outback of the Deep South where Eads resided is as exotic as it gets. The rural community of Toccoa, is nesting ground for a neo-Ku Klux Klan group that was so taken in by the bearded Eads's good-old-boy ambience that they asked him to join the local KKK chapter ("I imagine it'd be quite a scene," he says). Eads was in love with Lola Cola, a male-to-female transsexual with a Betty Boop naughtiness and an early Streisand wig.
Diagnosed with cancer of the cervix and ovaries, Eads was turned away by 20 different doctors who feared that taking on a transgendered patient might harm their practice. When he finally found someone that would treat him, he underwent radiation and chemo treatments, but it was all too late to be effective, and he died untreated in 1999.
Eads was the subject of the documentary film Southern Comfort, which won the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001.