Chapel Hill, NC – Often afraid or fearful of being judged, transgender people frequently delay or avoid routine health care examinations that could prevent more serious or life-threatening health consequences. To shed light on this little discussed but serious health care challenge, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina is presenting the Sundance Grand Jury Winning Documentary, Southern Comfort, at the Carrboro Arts Center on Thursday, May 24th. Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Planned Parenthood’s newly launched transgender services.
Southern Comfort follows 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 two dozen doctors out of fear that treating a transsexual person would damage their reputations. By the time Eads received treatment, the cancer was too far advanced to save his life. During his final year, Robert fell in love with male-to-female transsexual, Lola Cola, who stars in the film and will attend the Carrboro event to provide Q & A for the audience after the film.
Southern Comfort highlights the discrimination many transgender people encounter when seeking healthcare. An April 2012 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality showed that roughly a quarter of transgender people reported being turned away by health care providers while almost half of transgender men have delayed or avoided preventive health care such as pelvic exams or STI screenings out of fear of being judged.
“Planned Parenthood believes all people deserve high quality, affordable health care,” says Janet Colm, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina. “Our goal in providing transgender services is to reduce barriers and help ensure that all people have access to non-judgmental and respectful care.”
The Southern Comfort
benefit screening, a partnership between Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, Equality NC, Equality’s Trans Policy Task Force, is made possible through the generosity of local supporters. To purchase advanced tickets (suggested donation of $10), see the Planned Parenthood website at www.ppcentralnc.org/lola