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Patricia Arquette Tears Up Over Late Sister Alexis, Demands More Help for Transgender Community

Using your platform for a cause. Patricia Arquette opened up about the transgender community and mourned her late sister, Alexis Arquette, at the 2019 Emmy Awards, when she accepted the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in The Act.

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“I just have to say I’m grateful to be working. I’m grateful, at 50, to be getting the best parts of my life. And that’s great,” the actress, 51, began on Sunday, September 22. “But in my heart I’m so sad. I lost my sister Alexis, and trans people are still being persecuted. I’m in mourning, Alexis, and I will be the rest of my life until we change the world, until trans people are not persecuted.”

She continued: “Give them jobs. They’re human beings, let’s get rid of this bias we have everywhere.”

Patricia Arquette accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for The Act at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards. Phil McCarten/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Transgender actress Alexis Arquette fought HIV for 29 years and died from cardiac arrest in September 2016 at age 47. The activist, best known for her role in The Wedding Singer, told her story in the 2007 documentary Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother. Her death certificate stated that she also suffered from bacterial endocarditis and cardiomyopathy.

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In July, the Escape From Dannemora star discussed her sister’s journey with the Hollywood Foreign Press. “It was a big decision, so there were a lot of conversations about it. ‘Are you sure about this?’ Alexis gave up a lot to live her truth; she was a very successful actor,” the Oscar winner said on the “The HFPA in Conversation” podcast. “And we talked about, ‘Well, what about work? What about getting cast in things? What about all the parts you want to play, will people limit you?’ We talked about all the different things and it’s scary in the world, honestly.”

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“A trans woman of color was found murdered just today. So it’s a scary thing. So I can’t say that we were all, ‘Yeah, right on’ super supportive,” Patricia continued. “We had conversations, we cried, we talked it through. Alexis said, ‘You know what? It’s OK. It’s a transition for everybody. It’s a transformation for everybody.’”

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