Patricia Arquette Opens Up About Late Trans Sister Alexis: Her Transition Was a ‘Big Decision’


Sticking by family. Patricia Arquette reflected on her late sister Alexis Arquette’s experience transitioning into a transgender woman.

The Act star discussed her sister’s personal journey during a recent interview with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) podcast, “The HFPA in Conversation,” on Wednesday, July 3. Patricia revealed how she supported Alexis during her transitional period.

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David Arquette, Patricia Arquette, and Alexis Arquette at the after party for the FX Network’s premiere screening of “Dirt” at Republic on December 9, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Charley Gallay/Getty Images

“It was a big decision, so there were a lot of conversations about it. ‘Are you sure about this?’ Alexis gave up a lot to live her truth; she was a very successful actor,” the Oscar winner, 51, said. “And we talked about, ‘Well, what about work? What about getting cast in things? What about all the parts you want to play, will people limit you?’ We talked about all the different things and it’s scary in the world, honestly.”

Patricia noted that not all of the discussions their family had regarding Alexis transition were encouraging, as she pointed out the dangers transgender women face in the real world.  “A transwoman of color was found murdered just today. So it’s a scary thing. So I can’t say that we were all, ‘Yeah, right on’, super supportive,” the actress admitted. “We had conversations, we cried, we talked it through. Alexis said, ‘You know what? It’s OK. It’s a transition for everybody. It’s a transformation for everybody.’”

The Boyhood actress confided that she and Alexis “worked it through together.” She also confirmed that Alexis “knew we loved her to death.”

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Patricia Arquette attends the closing ceremony of the 59th Monte Carlo TV Festival on June 18, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Alexis died in September 2016 at 47. The actress and activist, whose story was told in 2007’s Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother, died from cardiac arrest. However, TMZ reported that her death certificate stated that she also suffered from bacterial endocarditis, cardiomyopathy and HIV.

Alexis fought HIV for 29 years.  She is survived by siblings Patricia and fellow actors Richmond, Rosanna and David Arquette.

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