Patricia Arquette Honors Sister Alexis At GLAAD Media Awards: “She Wanted To Help Move The World Forward”

"Whatever mark I have made in this life in activism will always pale in the light of Alexis's bravery."

Patricia Arquette took the stage Saturday night at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, where she was presented with the Vanguard Award, given “to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 01:  (L-R) Actor Jeffrey Tambor, Vanguard Award recipient Patricia Arquette and actor Luke Perry attend 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in LA at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 1, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD)
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD

Arquette “has consistently used her platform to voice support of the LGBTQ community and issues such as marriage equality and transgender equality,” GLAAD said in a statement. Previous Vanguard recipients include Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, and Cher.

In her speech, the 48-year-old Oscar winner paid tribute to her sister, transgender performer Alexis Arquette, who died last year at age 47.

alexis arquette

“She wanted to help move the world forward to a time and future where every trans kid could live their full potential,” Arquette said. “She wanted to help move the world forward to a time when they could be seen as complete, whole and equal human beings.”

Patricia noted that Alexis had lost out on numerous acting roles as a result of being a trans woman, “but she couldn’t live a life that was a lie.”

“So 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 urged the audience to support LGBT rights by marching in protests, calling their congressmen, posting on social media, and donating to GLAAD. “You don’t need to have transgender family member or a gay friend for this to affect you,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what color or gender or faith you are. There are so many marginalized groups right now under attack. When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable.”

“We are all human,” she concluded. “So let’s allow our humanity to lead us toward respect and tolerance.”



Hosted by comedian Cameron Esposito, the ceremony also included a special tribute to victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy led by Empire’s Jussie Smollett and featuring a performance by Tony winner Cynthia Erivo.

Among the film and television honored at the event, Moonlight won Outstanding Film – Wide Release, Other People won Outstanding Film – Limited Release, Shadowhunters won Outstanding Drama Series, and Transparent won Outstanding Comedy Series.


Other winners included Eyewitness for Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series, Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” for Outstanding Individual Episode, The Bold and The Beautiful for Outstanding Daily Drama, and The Woods for Outstanding Comic Book. Out singer Troye Sivan accepted the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

“At a time when progress is at a critical juncture, it is imperative that Hollywood tell more LGBTQ stories that reflect the community’s rich diversity—and build understanding that brings all communities closer together,” said GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis.

The 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards airs April 6 at 10/9c on Logo.

Celebrity interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.