As the subject on whom this story was based, Calpernia acted as consultant on the film and worked closely with the writer, director and actors to ensure the most sympathetic and accurate retelling possible. Below is a quote from the Sundance writeup:
On the fourth of July 1999, just after the installment of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Barry Winchell, a soldier in the 101st Airborne Division, was brutally murdered by a fellow GI. It is rare and beautiful when a filmmaker can take a disturbing true-life headline and convert it into a cinematic experience rich with pathos and poignancy. Such is the case in Soldier’s Girl.
What really happened to Barry Winchell was simple–he fell in love. On an outing with his buddies, he was captivated by the beautiful Calpernia Addams, a transgendered entertainer in a local Nashville nightclub.
Director Frank Pierson incorporates incomparable integrity into this true story. Ron Nyswaner’s tender script comes to life in the voices of the oddly matched lovers. The superb Troy Garity is the unsophisticated loner, and fantastic Lee Pace the beautifully sexy singer. Shawn Hatosy, as the off-balance, pharamaceutically dependent roommate, is chillingly believable, representing the darker side of military dysfunction.
There is rarely any meaning in this kind of atrocity. One can only hope for the truth. In Soldier’s Girl, the truth is told by clearly focusing on the love shared by these two individuals.
— John Cooper —