In the LGBTQ genre it is the lithe young’uns that rule the roost. This becomes a bit tiring. “Strictly for the Birds” breaks out of the youth stereotype and has 68-year-old Kate Birdsall recount her coming out as a trans and then later undergoing a gender change surgery to transform from Dan Birdsall into Kate Birdsall. The film is based on Kate Birdsall’s memoir “In Between: Strictly for the Birds”.
Dan Birdsall had a fascination with dressing as a woman from childhood which intensified as he divorced his wife in 1983 and gave up custody of their child Casey to his wife. Perhaps unrealistically there is nothing in the film about the hostility Dan may have faced coming out as a trans and then having surgery to become a Kate. It seems focused on the support Dan received.
Kate Birdsall (playing herself) relocated to a white bread senior’s community where they sing in a choir and attend church services. She meets Andrea Drury (playing herself) a twice divorced woman who falls for Kate knowing she was once he. Does that make Andrea a lesbian? Enough perhaps of all these categorizations as the relationship is based on two persons loving each other as persons. As Kate muses at the outset that we are told we are either man or woman but there are others who are outside that box but so many spend their life in a box. This is the most significant statement made in the film and worth remembering.
Kate and Andrea play themselves and at times their acting is hesitant and wooden but seconds later it is not acting on the screen but heartfelt emotion and that saves the film. Dynamo Zoe Taylor playing herself adds some comic relief in a delightful fashion.
Perhaps it is time for a cheesy Trans movie as this may signify just how far the genre has progressed. The soundtrack by Wonderly adds to the cheese.
It is never too late to truly embrace who you are and thanks to “Strictly for the Birds” for reminding us of that.
Directed by Jon Garcia.
The film is now on digital platforms now including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and Vudu.
You can see the trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49XpoVq7Y3Y
RKS Film Rating 73/100.