Patricia Arquette paid an emotional tribute to her late sister Alexis at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday (04.01.17).
Patricia, 48, was presented with the Vanguard Award at the ceremony, in recognition of her work as a long-standing ally and supporter of the LGBTQ community, at the 28th annual ceremony at the Beverly Hilton hotel and she used her speech to remember her transgender sibling Alexis, 47, who passed away in September.
The star – who was joined by her artist boyfriend Eric White – said: "Trans visibility really matters; it is not easy to be a trans person in the United States of America now. My sister Alexis challenged the industry — she had a successful career and knew she was risking losing work and her livelihood to live her truth… to lose parts, to live as a trans woman; she risked everything. She risked it all because she knew she couldn’t live a life that was a lie.
"So whatever mark I make in activism will always pale in the light of Alexis’ bravery and the light of every trans kid growing up in America. She wanted to help move the world forward to a time and future where every trans kid could live their full potential. When it wouldn’t be uncommon to have, in your everyday life, a doctor, a cop, a real estate agent or public official, who was a transgender person. That they would get jobs, that they would get hired, they would get a shot. She wanted to help move the world forward to a time when they could be seen as complete, whole and equal human beings.
"You don’t need to have transgender family member or a gay friend for this to affect you. It doesn’t matter what color or gender or faith you are. There are so many marginalised groups right now under attack. When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable."
Alexis’ best friend Luke Perry, 50, introduced Patricia at the awards ceremony and praised Alexis and Patricia’s advocacy.
He told Entertainment Tonight: "Look when you love somebody, you love them. Bottom line. And I loved Lex and Lex loved me, and I don’t need to explain that to anybody. That’s how love works, and that’s what’s so special about the message Patricia spreads.
"When you can get that love out there and bring that love into your work place, and you can hire them and look past all that stuff and get to the person that’s inside, that’s what Alexis was about. That opened that whole entire part of my life up – to be able to see the world like that. So, I owe a huge debt of gratitude and an awful lot of love."
Other winners on the night included Troye Sivan, ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Transparent’.
2017 GLAAD Awards Winners
Vanguard Award: Patricia Arquette
Stephen F. Kolzak Award: Troye Sivan
Outstanding Film – Wide Release: ‘Moonlight’
Outstanding Drama Series: ‘Shadowhunters’
Outstanding Comedy Series: ‘Transparent’
Outstanding Film – Limited Release: ‘Other People’
Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series: ‘Eyewitness’
Outstanding Individual Episode: San Junipero ‘Black Mirror’
Outstanding Daily Drama: ‘The Bold and The Beautiful’
Outstanding Comic Book: ‘The Woods’
Special Recognition Award: ‘Her Story (web-series)
Special Recognition Award: ‘We’ve Been Around’ (web-series)
Special Recognition Award: ‘Sin Ir Más Lejos’ by Gema Corredera (music video)