Coinciding with Cervical Health Awareness Month, Robert Eads Day on January 17 honors the memory of Robert Eads and raises awareness for preventative care and early detection of cancer and HPV in trans men.
Robert Eads (December 18, 1945 – January 17, 1999) was a trans man from Toccoa, Georgia, whose life and death was the subject of the award-winning documentary Southern Comfort (2001). Eads transitioned later in life and was advised not to seek hysterectomy due to his age. He was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1996 and more than a dozen doctors refused to treat him fearing that taking him on as a patient might harm their practice. When he was finally accepted for treatment in 1997 the cancer had “already metastasized to other parts of the body, rendering any further treatments futile.” Robert Eads died on January 17, 1999.
Robert Eads was denied medical care in the United States just 19 years ago. His story is a tragic reminder to trans men to take charge of their health, as well as a call to action to the medical community to fight against trans discrimination in health care and to improve the accessibility of preventative care and early detection of cancer and HPV in trans populations.