Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette
was honored for her LGBT advocacy at Saturday's GLAAD Media Awards in
Arquette received the group's Vanguard
Award, which is “presented to artists and media professionals who,
through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding
of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”
In accepting her award, Arquette payed
tribute to her late sister Alexis Arquette. Alexis, the sibling of
David and Patricia Arquette, starred in more than 40 films, including
The Wedding Singer, I Think I Do and Killer Drag
Queens on Dope. Alexis' transition from male to female was
documented in the film Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother.
She died on September 11 from complications related to AIDS and was
47 years old.
“Visibility matters. And right now,
trans visibility really matters,” Arquette
told the crowd. “It is not an easy life to be trans in America
today. Alexis challenged the movie industry at its core. She had a
very successful career as an actor. Alexis knew she was risking
losing work by living her truth. That she would lose parts by living
as a trans woman. She risked it all because she couldn’t live a
lie. Whatever mark I have made in this life in activism will always
pale in the light of Alexis’s bravery. She did not knock on the
door of progress. She kicked the door open.”
“She wanted to help the world to move
forward to a time when trans people were not fetishized but to a
better tomorrow when they would be seen as complete, whole and equal
Arquette also got political during her
speech, calling out Attorney General Jeff Sessions' muted response to
a request to launch an investigation into the murders of eight
transgender women of color.
“Can you hear us, Jeff Sessions? You
don't need to have a trans family member, or a gay friend, or a
questioning kid for this to affect you,” Arquette added.
also honored singer-songwriter Troye Sivan at the event.