Patricia Arquette honored Alexis Arquette at the GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night while accepting the Vanguard Award.
The tribute came more than six months after the transgender actress' death, and one month after, according to Patricia, Alexis was snubbed from the Academy Awards "In Memoriam" segment.
“She wanted to help move the world forward to a time and future where every trans kid could live their full potential,” Patricia said at the Beverly Hilton, reports Entertainment Tonight.
Alexis, who suffered from HIV and died of a heart attack at age 47, was an LGBTQ activist and member of the Arquette acting family with dozens of movie roles, including a brief but memorable role as the "Fourth Man" in Pulp Fiction and the Boy George-inspired character George in the 1998 comedy The Wedding Singer.
Alexis may have missed acting opportunities because she was trans, but "couldn't live a life that was a lie," said Patricia. "So whatever mark I have made in this life in activism will always pale in the light of Alexis’ bravery and in the light of the bravery of every trans kid growing up in America.
(She looked to a time) when it wouldn’t be uncommon to have, in your everyday life, a doctor, a cop, a real estate agent or public official, who was a transgender person. That they would get jobs, that they would get hired, they would get a shot. She wanted to help move the world forward to a time when they could be seen as complete, whole and equal human beings," Patricia said.
The Oscar winner closed her emotional speech reminding attendees that "you don’t need to have transgender family member or a gay friend for this to affect you," said Patricia. "When one of us is vulnerable, all of us are vulnerable... So, let's allow our humanity to lead us toward respect and tolerance.”