Saturday 20 January 2018

Actress Patricia Arquette warns transgender people are 'under attack' in US

By David Mercer

The Oscar winner, whose transgender sister Alexis died in September, accepted an award from gay-rights group GLAAD.

Actress Patricia Arquette warned transgender people were “under attack” in America as she was honoured by a leading gay-rights group.

The Oscar winner, whose transgender sister Alexis died in September, accepted GLAAD’s vanguard award in Beverly Hills, California, in recognition of her activist work.

On stage, Patricia said calls for a federal hate crime investigation into the “vicious” murders of eight transgender women of colour in 2017 had been met by “silence” from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“You don’t need to have transgender family members or a gay friend or a questioning kid for this to affect you,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter what colour or gender or faith you are, there’s so many marginalised groups right now under attack.

“When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable.”

Patricia, 48, paid a tearful tribute to her sister Alexis, who she said knew she “couldn’t live a life that was a lie”.

“Whatever mark I have made in this life in activism will always pale in the light of Alexis’s bravery and in the light of the bravery of every trans-kid growing up in America,” she said.

“She wanted to move the world forward to a future where every trans-kid can live up to their full potential.

“When it wouldn’t be uncommon to have in your everyday life a doctor or a nurse or a cop or a real estate agent or a public official who is a transgender person.

“She wanted to help move the world forward to a time where trans-people were not fetishised but to a better tomorrow when they could be seen as complete, whole and equal human beings.”

Fighting back tears, Patricia praised the work of GLAAD for helping transgender children “see that they belong, that they are loved and that there is nothing wrong with them”.

Patricia won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in 2014 film Boyhood.

Her sister Alexis died from a heart attack in September, aged 47, having lived with HIV for 29 years.

The actress and activist, whose siblings also include actors David and Rosanna Arquette, transitioned to being a woman in 2006.

Press Association

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