Patricia Arquette delivered an emotional, inspiring speech at last night’s GLAAD Media Awards
Patricia Arquette knew she would be shedding some tears.
When she took the stage at the GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night, Arquette carried with her some tissue but joked she might need an entire table cloth by the time she was through accepting the GLAAD Vanguard Award.
The Oscar winner, whose late sister was transgender actress Alexis Arquette, immediately choked up when praising GLAAD for ‘helping LGBTQ kids see that they belong and they are loved.’
She added through tears: ‘And that there’s nothing wrong with them.’
‘It is not an easy life to be a trans person in the United States of America today. My sister Alexis challenged the movie industry at its core. She had a very successful career as an actor and she knew she was risking losing work and her livelihood by living her truth.
‘She knew that she would lose parts by living her life as a trans woman but she risked everything. She risked it all because she knew she couldn’t live a life that was a lie.’
The audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel were so moved by Arquette’s words that they applauded throughout and some stood during the speech.
Arquette said her accomplishments as as activist pales in the light of her late sister’s ‘bravery.’
Alexis Arquette died last fall at the age of 47.
‘Alexis did nit knock on the door of progress, she kicked the door open. She wanted to help move the world forward to a time in the future where every trans kid could live up to their full potential … to a time when every trans kid could dream and they could realize their dream and achieve success and prosperity.’
But Arquette pointed out that ‘that is not what is happening.’
She called attention to anti-trans bills being considered in Texas and other states.
She also spoke of the murders this year of eight trans women of color in the US and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice ignoring a letter from six Democratic members of Congress calling for a federal hate crime investigation into the pattern of murders of transgender women.
‘Can you hear us, Jeff Sessions?’ Arquette asked. ‘You don’t need to have a trans family member, or a gay friend, or a questioning kid for this to affect you. It doesn’t matter what color or gender or faith you are. So many marginalized groups are under attack.
‘We don’t do silence. When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable.’
The Vanguard Award is presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTI. people.
A broadcast of the GLAAD Media Awards will air on Logo on Thursday, April 6.