Southern Comfort

99 minutes 2001 8.6/10 based on 5 votes

This film tells the captivating story of Robert Eads, a female to male transsexual, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Filmmaker Kate Davis follows him around as he shares his experience of living with this ironic diagnosis.

Robert Eads, who was born as Barbara, nonchalantly tells how he was invited to ‘be one of the boys and take back Georgia’ by becoming a member of the KKK. Imagine if he had introduced himself to them and told them who he really was?

After years of hiding in the gay community, Robert finally convinced himself that being a man or a woman had nothing to do with genitalia. He then started taking testosterone and had his breasts removed. He didn’t have the bottom half altered, though. In his words, he didn’t need a piece of flesh swinging between his legs to prove that he was a man.

One morning, while staying at the home of some friends, Robert woke up in a pool of blood and feeling really ill. His friends forced him to go to the hospital. That was how he found out that he had terminal cancer of the cervix, uterus, and the ovaries. Robert immediately asked about the possibility of having a hysterectomy and was told that it didn’t make sense to go through such a complicated procedure at his age, because of menopause. Robert believes that it’s some kind of cruel joke that the only parts of him that were still female were killing him.

Eads approached a number of gynecologists at dozens of hospitals and clinics seeking help and was turned down repeatedly. Some lied and told him they weren’t able to treat him while others told him point blank that they would lose patients if word got out that they were treating a transsexual.

When he found out that he had only a few more months left to live, Robert called his closest friends together. He referred to them as his chosen family because even though they weren’t related by blood, these were the people who always stuck by him.

His family also went to see him: one of his two sons, his parents, and his adorable grandson—the only one present who did not know him before his sex change. His son still refers to him as ‘mom’, but admits that had he gotten married he would have chosen his mom to be the best man at his wedding.

For Robert, he was always a heterosexual male, not a homosexual. Watch this touching story now.

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  • Marianne sherritt

    he said he didn’t need to change from female genitalia to male because he didn’t need a piece of flesh dangling between his legs to prove he is a man. What a derogatory comment on men in general. A penis is what makes a man a man. What a put down on the male sex. This person is a man hater.

    • Leigh Andrews

      It is far more difficult to have phalloplasty performed that produces a penis that functions as one would expect a penis to function than to have the penile inversion done for male to female transsexuals. Give a FTM transsexual a significant dose of testosterone, and her clitoris will enlarge somewhat, but will still have a micropenis.

      Given that an unsatisfactory result is probable, why have the surgery done? True, it is possible to have a penis made that is erect all the time due to an implant, but that has its own problems.

      • Marianne sherritt

        If you don’t have a penis how can you call yourself a man? Is everybody crazy or is it just me. Tell that to a man and then take his penis off and he will tell you his life as a man is over. If you have a vagina you are a woman. Having your breasts removed means you hate being a woman but it does not, NOT make you a man. To talk of a penis as a piece of flesh dangling between your legs also means you hate men for you to be able talk so derogatory of men and their male part and function. You can try to change Mother Nature and how she works but you will fail. This person needs phyciatric help, big time. How can anyone encourage this kind of hateful thinking? Horrible!

        • CHumphrey

          As a psychologist who has spent a lifetime studying and doing research in the area of human sexuality, I feel compelled to comment on your quite simplistic approach to this topic. Gender identification is a very complex matter and is hardly confined to sexual organs or secondary sexual characteristics. It behooves you to become informed before you draw unreasonable conclusions. People are certainly welcome to their opinions but facts and evidence always trump them.

          • Marianne sherritt

            It behooves you to read my comments and the transgender’s comments before making your uninformed opinions. The transgender’s words “I don’t need a piece of flesh dangling between my legs to be a man says it all. Not only hate filled but insulting to real men, but delusional as well. If a scysophrenic says he is King George do you encourage his delusion?

            • CHumphrey

              When a doctor, which is what I am, makes a diagnosis, it is merely an opinion. But, to say it is uninformed is to stretch the boundaries of reason. If you meant uninformed in the sense of not having watched the documentary or read your comment, I did both. You will have to explain to me the logic that leads to the conclusion that a man’s life is over if you take away his penis. I need a well constructed syllogism before accepting that conclusion. Otherwise, I see it as an uninformed opinion.

              • Marianne sherritt

                I suggest you talk to a man, any real man and he will tell you the same, or the equivalent of what I have said. The transgender said ” I don’t need a piece of flesh dangling between my legs to be a man” is derogatory, hate filled and insulting to real men”.

                • CHumphrey

                  I am a man, but perhaps not a “real” man, whatever that is. You seem to have your own definition. I am assuming that you have decided to dismiss anything I have to say on the matter, my expertise notwithstanding. It may interest you to know that I have been certified by a number of courts as an expert in human sexuality. And, as I mentioned, I hold a doctorate. May I ask that you provide me with your credentials so I may know at what level I should adjust myself to have this discussion?

                • Marianne sherritt

                  Aren’t you so pretentious and superior. I know hate when I hear it. I know delusion when I hear it. These people hate themselves, mutilate themselves and they hate others for being normal. Your advocacy of these sick people and what they say and do ensures you have a job. I won’t respond to any more nonsense and total disregard for others feelings from you. “A dangling piece of flesh” is how you describe your maleness and sexual function? So be it.

                • CHumphrey

                  OK, Marianne, now that you have reduced it to name calling, the last resort of the hopelessly ignorant, I know what level to bring this discussion down to if you were to choose to continue it.

                • CHumphrey

                  BTW, the dictionary definition of pretentious, with appropriate substitution is attempting to impress by affecting greater (education or expertise) than is actually possessed. I can post a picture of my degree and my curriculum vitae if you like.

        • Leigh Andrews

          I’d hold out for XY chromosomes as the necessary and sufficient qualification for being male, but that’s me. My brother-in-law lost a testicle in a car accident, and has erectile problems that Viagra and similar drugs don’t help. Though he is equipped with a penis, although one that doesn’t work other than for the passage of urine without a penile implant, he is by your definition a man.
          The penile inversion, which is ne of the surgeries performed to convert a male into a female transsexual. is far more successful surgery than phalloplasty for the female-to-male transsexual in terms of outcome and functionality.

    • Francis

      Marianne just an advise: the day has only 24 hours, don’t waste your time watching these hetereophobics.

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