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- In her acceptance speech for the ‘Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series’ Emmy, Patricia Arquette mentioned the death of her sister, Alexis Arquette.
- Alexis died at age 47 on September 11, 2016, due to complications related to HIV/AIDS.
- Patricia and her family then launched the Alexis Arquette Family Foundation, in memory of Alexis and in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Though Patricia Arquette was ecstatic after winning an Emmy for ‘Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series’ for her portrayal of Dee Dee Blanchard in Hulu’s The Act, her acceptance speech soon took a somber turn when she mentioned the death of her sister, Alexis Arquette. She died on September 11, 2016 at the age of 47, due to complications related to HIV/AIDS, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“In my heart, I’m so sad. I lost my sister Alexis, and trans people are still being persecuted,” Patricia said in her acceptance speech at the 2019 Emmy Awards. “I’m in mourning every day of my life, Alexis, and I will be the rest of my life for you until we change the world so that trans people aren’t persecuted—and give them jobs. They’re human beings. Let’s give them jobs.”
This isn’t the first time Patricia has opened up about losing her sister Alexis. “We are all really heartbroken about it,” Patricia told THR in a one-on-one interview in 2017. “It has taken me a long time [to talk about it]. I’m still not quite there. It’s very raw and will probably always be hard, but right now, there is a mounting assault against the LGBTQ community, so ready or not, you have to talk about it.”
Though it’s been difficult for Patricia to open up about her sister’s death in the past, that same year, Patricia received the Vanguard award at the 28th annual GLAAD Media Awards for her longtime activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community. She and her family also launched the Alexis Arquette Family Foundation (AAFF), which is spearheaded by Patricia’s other sister, Rosanna Arquette.
“Alexis taught us all about acceptance and love,” Patricia told The Hollywood Reporter. “To me, Alexis was really my great vanguard. I think, truthfully, every single trans person in the United States is a vanguard because it’s a very difficult life to live.”
Watch Patricia pay tribute to her late sister, Alexis:
Before Alex died, Patricia recalled how her sister talked to her “about wanting to see a time when you could go into a real estate office and your realtor would be a trans man or trans woman,” or seeing “a cop or a McDonald’s employee that is trans.”
While Patricia was quick to acknowledge that “we are so far from that today,” she also noted the enduring impact of her sister’s life—and those like her—to help bring about that change. “You have certain loves of your life, deep loves with people who really impact you. People you care so much about. They change you,” she said. “Alexis was that to each one of us. The spirit of Alexis will always be alive.”