Patricia Arquette Makes a Plea for Trans Rights at the Emmys

"Trans people are human beings, let’s give them jobs."

(Image credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN)

One amazing thing about the Emmys? Not just the incredible fashion or the enviable hair and makeup looks (though those do make watching fun), but the way the winners use the platform to spotlight the causes near and dear to their hearts. Tonight, Patricia Arquette did just that. The Hollywood veteran won her second Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Dee Dee Blanchard in The Act. (Watch it.) After shouting out her fellow nominees and thanking Hulu and her family, Arquette turned her attention to the plight of trans people in this country, an issue that is quite personal for her.

Arquette’s sister Alexis was assigned male at birth and later transitioned. She is considered a transgender pioneer; her journey was documented in Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother. Tragically, Alexis died in 2016 following complications from HIV. For Patricia, the wound is still fresh. Here’s what she had to say:

"I’m grateful at 50 to be getting the best parts of my life. And that's great, but in my heart, I’m so sad. I lost my sister Alexis, and that trans people are still being persecuted. And I'm in mourning every day of my life, Alexis, and I will be the rest of my life for you until we change the world and trans people are not persecuted. And give them jobs. They're human beings, let's give them jobs. Get rid of this bias that we have everywhere. Thank you."

It was an incredibly powerful moment, and one that hopefully members of the Supreme Court were listening to. On October 8, SCOTUS will hear cases regarding employment discrimination against gay and transgender people. In a truly evil turn, the Trump administration "filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging the justices to rule that it’s legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation," according to The Advocate. Laverne Cox, a fellow Emmy nominee, used her platform to shed light on the forth coming case, both in red carpet interviews and with the bag she held.

71st Emmy Awards - Arrivals

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison)

An extra round of applause to these A-listers for using their fame for good.

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Danielle McNally
Executive Editor

Danielle McNally is a National Magazine Award–winning journalist. She is the executive editor of Marie Claire, overseeing features across every topic of importance to the MC reader: beauty, fashion, politics, culture, career, women's health, and more. She has previously written for Cosmopolitan, DETAILS, SHAPE, and Food Network Magazine