January 17, 2008

January 17 | Robert Eads

December 18, 1945 - January 17, 1999: Age 53

Robert Allen Eads was a female-to-male transsexual. Born "Barbara", he really gave being female a go, even getting married twice and bearing three children. After the birth of his third child he divorced his husband and began to live as a lesbian, but at the time always felt that he was a heterosexual man, rather than a gay woman.

In the late 1980s he began to make the transition from female to male with testosterone therapy and a double mastectomy. Because he was already approaching menopause, he was advised not to have an operation to remove his reproductive organs. That is unfortunate, given the cause of his death.

In 1996 he began to experience abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding, which was diagnosed as ovarian cancer. It had metastasized but he was unable to find a doctor willing to treat him: being in rural Georgia, they were afraid that taking Eads on would harm their practice. The cancer went unchecked until 1997. After more than a year of painful and aggressive treatment, Robert died in the arms of his partner, a male-to-female transgender woman.

During that last year, he agreed to appear in Southern Comfort, a documentary film about transgender individuals. You can hear some of his words from the film (but no footage) here, on YouTube.

Sources: Wikipedia, Gender Public Advocacy Coalition, Transgender Tapestry

2 comments:

Ulla said...

I saw the documentary on CBC.
Likable fellow.

daap said...

Very sad.