(this post originally posted to my blog at alt.com)
Aug 27, 2007 10:55 pm
I like to rave about something good once in a while. I raved about "My Husband Betty" and I hope a few of you went down to the local library and checked it out or shelled out a few pesos for a copy. If not, please do. It's worth it.
And now I have another rave! And it's probably one most of you have already seen: "A Soldier's Girl". Yep, THAT one. Barry Winchell and Calpernia Addams.
I cried my eyes out.
Then I went online and started looking for Calpernia's site. Easy. Just google her. Oh, my. What a lady. What a role model! What a sweet, smart, utterly cool human being. If we could all be that gracious and classy and utterly ethical.
You all know the story, of course. Barry and Calpernia fell in love while he was in the Army Airborne and she was a showgirl in Nashville. Real love, folks, not just a she-male fantasy, despite Calpernia's pre-op status. The kind of love almost all of us dream about: the kind, handsome, noble and strong warrior who can treat you with respect and not care about the plumbing issues.
The kind of love who will die for you.
And that's exactly what happened.
He was beaten to death with a baseball bat while asleep in his bunk. One of his squadmates actually committed the murder, his squad leader egged him on. So much for unit loyalty. The Army took its own sweet time investigating and prosecuting the two. General Ramsey Clark was the base CO. He's now Chairman of the JCS, thanks to King George. He claims he had no idea, no idea at all...
Except, in the trial, it came out that Barry had been enduring over a YEAR of verbal, psychological and physical abuse at the hands of his fellow soldiers and even his direct commanding officer, who investigated him following allegations that he was 'homosexual'. Allegations by the same psycho who eventually killed him.
Like most stoic warriors in the Army Airborne, Barry shrugged it off and didn't talk about it, not even with Callie.
THAT is the strong, silent type.
Lee Pace plays Callie. He's utterly gorgeous and absolutely amazing, the best drag/TG performance I've ever seen in a supposedly non-gay actor. Of course, the state-of-the-art makeup and prosthetics helped considerably and if you want an exercise in uncontrollable envy, watch the transformation segment under special features.
Troy Garity plays Barry. Need I tell you how sweetly he plays Barry? Need I tell you that you will like him immediately and recognize that he's different from the goons that surround him? Need I tell you that he handles the concept of falling in love with a transwoman as naturally and beautifully as anyone's love? You'll see his struggle and you'll see that the struggle finally becomes irrelevant to him, that THIS is the girl for him and what she has between her legs is largely secondary to who she really is: a woman. His woman. And he's her man. Simple. Elegant. Truthful.
And the love scenes...Oh. My. Goddess.
If they don't make your ears catch fire, you're dead inside, darling. No, of course there's no real sex. This is Showtime, after all, not Joey Silvera. Yes, there's nudity and you get to see what a dynamite job they did on Lee's tits. Yes, there is some serious kissing and petting and those two boys did a FABULOUS job of showing a transgendered relationship without any of the kink or stink. I saw two very lovely people very much in love and very much aware of it and it was irrelevant that both of them had a cock.
"But!" you cry. "That's what makes it so exotic!"
Maybe. Probably. Yeah, so what?
ALL love is exotic. All love has its own charms and silver spangles and bright, happy rainbows.
(With the obvious exceptions, of course. Pedophilia and beastialism aren't rainbows, they're big, grim, Steven Spielberg-type stormclouds in really hideous shades.)
With Callie and Barry, it was something very special, as I've said. Lee and Troy captured it perfectly, beautifully, sweetly. I sat and sighed and cried. I looked like Alice Cooper halfway through the darn thing and I was blubbering like a baby at the voiceover at the end: "I hope someday to become a real soldier's girl."
You did, Ms.Addams. You are, Callie. Barry would have been so proud of you.
This happened over four years ago and Calpernia doesn't like to talk about it anymore. She's taken some heat for capitalizing on, exploiting Barry's death. Read her blog on her site. That should convince you. She's not rich and she's not poor but she's done it all herself and we owe her the props on that one, folks. She was a political football for a couple years when all she wanted to be was an entertainer, a showgirl, and she received exactly the wrong sort of publicity.
And we owe Barry's memory, too. When you visit her site, drop a few pesos in the paypal slot, huh? It's a good 'un, this one.
If you haven't seen it (and I know there are dozens, hundreds, here who have and thanks for not being patronizing) then do. And weep, weep, weep beyond time for this Earth of Hours.
And then go do something good with your grief.
It's better that way.