Patricia Arquette Remembers Her Late Sister In A Powerful Speech About Transgender Rights

"When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable."

Actress Patricia Arquette accepted the Vanguard Award at this weekend's 28th annual GLAAD Media Awards. She delivered an emotional acceptance speech in which she spoke out for transgender rights and honored her late sister Alexis Arquette, a transgender actress and activist who passed away last year.

"Visibility matters, and right now trans visibility really matters," Arquette said while thanking GLAAD for the work that it does to support LGBTQ people. "It is not an easy life to be a trans person in the United States of America today."

Arquette went on to say that her sister "challenged the movie industry at its core," adding, "She had a very successful career as an actor, and she knew she was risking losing work and her livelihood by living her truth, 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."

She went on to describe her sister's efforts on behalf of the transgender community to create "a better tomorrow when they could be seen as complete, whole human beings."

Her words earned an enthusiastic round of applause from the audience, bringing to mind Arquette's Oscars acceptance speech about equal pay, which inspired a similar reaction.

The actress also called out public officials such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions for their "silence" on these issues, and called on those listening to make a difference. "You don't need to have a trans family member, or a gay friend, or a questioning kid for this to affect you," she said. "When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable."



Watch Arquette's full speech in the video below:

(H/T: Deadline)

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