Patricia Arquette even had the regal Meryl Streep clapping and cheering at the 2015 Oscars when she dedicated her Best Supporting Actress to “every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation,” and declared that “it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
It was a risky, controversial move, considering that wage equality has only become a recent conversation point espoused by Hollywood stars. Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Schumer, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, and Meryl Streep are among the impressive lineup of women who have spoken out about the issue. While Arquette has admitted that her now famous acceptance speech may have cost her some roles, she has gone on the record as saying she stands by her decision and that she continues to fight for queer rights. In the first half of an episode of Party Foul Radio that will drop its second half on October 4, Arquette recently discussed her sister Alexis’ struggle as a trans woman coming out in the public eye.
“I really think Alexis’ personal journey of finding herself exposed our whole family to the LGBTQ experience,” said Arquette, who will open up about her sister’s tragic passing from AIDS in the Oct 4 broadcast.
In the first half of the episode, Arquette elaborated on the unwavering support that she and her actor siblings — Rosanna, David, and Richmond — provided for Alexis throughout the years. She also admitted that she didn’t have an empathetic, fully-developed understanding of queer and trans experiences until she became closer with her sister.
“It’s one thing when you read about a ‘political agenda,’” Arquette admitted. “But when you’re hearing about someone being discriminated against by a nurse or a doctor or trying to get a cup of coffee?” She continued: “All of these whittling away, dehumanizing experiences you see your loved one go through really educate you to how it is to be LGBTQ in America — or how it has been.”
All that being said, Arquette didn’t have a very optimistic take on the future of “actorvists” in Hollywood:
“Unless things change radically, I think we’re at the tail end of real free social expression. I want to experience it and be part of it as long as possible.”
We beg to differ on that: There seems to be a growing number of young Hollywood actors opening up about progressive issues. However, we can still appreciate the difficulty of being a dissenting voice in an industry dominated by consumerism and entrenched heterosexual male producers.