Academy Award-winning actress and activist Patricia Arquette received GLAAD‘s Vanguard Award at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 1. The award was presented by Jeffrey Tambor and Luke Perry, who spoke of his long friendship with Patricia’s late sister Alexis Arquette.
In her acceptance speech, Patricia Arquette called out Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and the Department of Justice for ignoring a letter from six Democratic members of Congress calling for a federal hate crime investigation into the pattern of murders of transgender women. “Can you hear us, Jeff Sessions?” she said, adding that, “You don’t need to have a trans family member, or a gay friend, or a questioning kid for this to affect you. It doesn’t matter what color or gender or faith you are. So many marginalized groups are under attack. When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable.”
She also remembered her late sister Alexis Arquette:
“Alexis challenged the movie industry at its core. She had a very successful career as an actor. Alexis knew she was risking losing work by living her truth. That she would lose parts by living as a trans woman. She risked it all because she couldn’t live a lie. Whatever mark I have made in this life in activism will always pale in the light of Alexis’s bravery. She did not knock on the door of progress. She kicked the door open.”