Patricia Arquette Paid Tribute to Her Late Sister Alexis During Her Emmy Acceptance Speech
"I'm in mourning every day of my life."
Patricia Arquette took home an Emmy on Sunday night for her role as Dede Blanchard in Hulu's The Act. During her acceptance speech, she took a few moments to stand up for trans rights. Her sister, Alexis Arquette, passed away in 2016, and Patricia pleaded for the entertainment industry to take a look at the bias that exists against trans people and not only offer them jobs, but also treat them like human beings.
"In my heart, I'm so sad," she said. "I lost my sister Alexis. And that trans people are still being persecuted. And I'm in mourning every day of my life, Alexis. And I will be for the rest of my life, for you, until we change the world so that trans people are not persecuted."
Patricia was won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, just one of her nominations tonight. In her speech, she noted that she's getting the best roles of her life — after the age of 50. It's a rarity and she is hoping to offer those same opportunities to the trans community. She called on Hollywood to be more understanding and provide trans actors the same chances as everyone else.
"Give them jobs," she said. "They're human beings. Let's give them jobs. Let's get rid of the bias that we have everywhere."
After her passing (her official cause of death was reported as HIV-related cardiac arrest), Alexis's family released a statement about the hardships that she had to endure as a trans actor. Alexis was a firebrand for the trans community, her family said, because she was steadfast in her desire to portray trans people like real people, not stereotypes.
"Her career was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman," the statement read. "Despite the fact that there are few parts for trans actors, she refused to play roles that were demeaning or stereotypical. She was a vanguard in the fight for understanding and acceptance for all trans people. She fiercely lived her reality in a world where it is dangerous to be a trans person — a world largely unready to accept differences among human beings, and where there is still the ugliness of violence and hostility towards people that we may not understand."