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Patricia Arquette makes emotional plea for trans rights during Emmys speech

Ella Braidwood September 23, 2019

Patricia Arquette arrives at the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Actor Patricia Arquette made an emotional plea at the Emmy Awards last night for the persecution of trans people to end.

Arquette took to the stage after winning the accolade for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for her role in the web TV series The Act.

During her speech, she also paid tribute to her sister Alexis Arquette, who was transgender and passed away in 2016, aged 47.

Alexis Arquette, an actor, activist and cabaret performer, came out as transgender in 2006 but reportedly started presenting as a man again from 2013, with her brother saying that she described herself as “gender suspicious”.

Patricia Arquette pays tribute to late sister Alexis, who came out as trans in 2006.

Alexis Arquette arrives at AFI Associates luncheon honoring Hollywood’s Arquette family with the 6th Annual “Platinum Circle Award” held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on May 10, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI)

Arquette said that she was saddened on a daily basis over the loss of her sibling, who died of HIV-related complications, and called for the discrimination of trans people to stop.

“In my heart, I’m so sad,” she said in her speech.

“I’m in mourning every day of my life, Alexis, and will be the rest of my life for you until we change the world for you, until we change the world so that trans people are not persecuted. And give them jobs.”

The 51-year-old actor added: “Let’s get rid of this bias that we have everywhere.”

Laverne Cox highlights Supreme Court case on anti-trans workplace discrimination at Emmy Awards.

In response to her words, Orange is the New Black actor Laverne Cox stood up from her seat and held up a rainbow-coloured Edie Parker clutch, which was decorated with the words: “October 8th, Title XII Supreme Court.”

The date on the clutch relates to a scheduled Supreme Court hearing on October 8, which will determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects against anti-LGBT+ discrimination in the workplace.

Let’s get rid of this bias that we have everywhere.

Arquette’s speech comes as the Trump administration continues to face allegations that it has discriminated against the transgender and non-binary communities.

In January, the Supreme Court backed a Trump policy to stop “transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition” from serving in the armed forces.

Violence against transgender people in America has also continued in recent years.

At least 19 transgender people have been violently killed so far in 2019, with all but one of them being women of colour.

At least 26 trans people were murdered in the US in 2018, again with the vast majority being women of colour.

More: alexis arquette, laverne cox, patricia arquette, Trans

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