BEFORE & AFTER Alexis Arquette’s experiences as a transgender woman in Hollywood
          

Alexis Arquette Transgendered

On the upcoming premiere of Dream School, David Arquette encounters a transgender student struggling to overcome a lifetime of bullying. During their emotional conversation, David explained how he watched his own sister, Alexis Arquette, deal with similar problems as a transgender woman.

Alexis was born in 1969 as Robert Arquette, one of the middle children in the famous Hollywood family. From a young age, she identified as a girl.

“I remember Alexis growing up, and we’d be in school in kindergarten, and they’d say, ‘Get in line, boys here, girls here.’ Alexis would always get in the girls’ line,” sister Patricia Arquette explained to the Los Angeles Times in 2008.

Alexis began acting in her teens and had her first significant role as an androgynous character in Down and Out in Beverly Hills. A few years later, she played a transvestite named Georgette in Last Exit to Brooklyn. She then went on to minor roles in major films, including Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer.

Robert Arquette - Alexis Arquette
^Alexis Arquette in 2000.

Through it all, the fact that she identified as a woman was not in question — but that didn’t make things any easier for Alexis, who didn’t make the official male-to-female transition until her late 30s.

“I don’t know why I feel this way. Is me feeling female the same as J.Lo feeling black? I don’t know. I don’t know why she feels that way,” Alexis said at a press conference in 2007.

Alexis’ gender struggle became even clearer in 2007 when she allowed cameras to document her transition from male to female for Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother. She was supported in the process by her self-described liberal family, which includes siblings David, Patricia, Richmond and Rosanna Arquette.

Arquette Siblings

The critically acclaimed documentary was described as a film that “focuses on a year and a half of dramatic change in the life of an enigmatic and outrageous Hollywood character as Alexis’ journeys toward becoming male-to-female. Well known as an actor, drag persona (‘Eva Destruction’) and one of a family of celebrity siblings, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Alexis began to live full-time ‘as a woman’ and revealed to family and friends her plans to seek sex reassignment surgery.”

Since then, Alexis has been an outspoken advocate for transgender safety causes.

“Coming out as transgender in America from a celebrity family is a lot easier than it can be for private individuals anywhere else in the world,” she told Entertainment Tonight in 2009. “In fact, if you come out as transgender in certain parts of the world, you may be murdered in the street. Legally, under their laws, you may be murdered.”

She also spoke out in support of Chaz Bono (née Chastity Bono), the transgender son of Sonny and Cher who transitioned from female to male between 2008 and 2010.

“Chastity made the choice to come out as transgender. Chastity never made the choice of being transgender,” Alexis told Entertainment Tonight, clarifying the headline on a People cover. “In fact, there are a lot of transgender people who look at the difficulty of living this way and think, ‘Is it worth it?’ Of course it is, because nobody would choose this life. Nobody would choose to be ostracized. Nobody would choose to be questioned, and eyes rolled when they walk in the room — nobody wants that. We all just want to be accepted for who we are.”

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    • Ashley Price

      Good Job on creating awareness. I applaud you, Alexis.

    • frontdoormom

      Alexis was the first person ive ever known to be transgendered and i consider myself a very close minded individual, however im glad her story was the first one to have learned of because it helped me understand and accept we are all different. Idk why i immediatelh grew fond of her…maybe as she mentioned it was easier (for her) to already be from a famous family. As if it were my first experience with a transgendered person face to face. Either way, much respect and much of luck for her and anyone else transitioning. I will never know what they feel and maybe will never 100% understand, as long as they feel complete and happy in the end.

      • Red

        Well said.

      • SS

        why do you consider yourself a very close minded individual? That’s a very open minded comment you made. Perhaps you once were close minded but you don’t seem like you are anymore. Kudos! Be proud of your open mind :)

        • frontdoormom

          Lol thank you. Because i do find myself passing judgment on others and feel its something i will always struggle with in a sense.. But again thank you :)

          • Julie

            I love that you are so honest.. keep up the good work.

    • sanoga

      Alexis, pull yo damn bra strap up! That’s just inexcusable!

    • Mike Dornfest

      Can you people stop saying SHE with these trans people.
      HE is a HE and always will be even after HE had fake boobs put in or took hormones to get them.

      No matter how you word it this MAN had his body altered to look like a female, a simulation end of story.

      I have a female character in my video game but it isn’t real. I can call it a her but it is just a bunch of pixels and data not an actual her.

      You keep giving credibility to these people when all it is, is a cut up altered MAN.

      If I put a Spiderman costume on that doesn’t make me Spiderman.

      • What

        That is one of the most ignorant things I have ever seen someone say on the internet.

        • spidey

          Actually, putting on that costume DOES make you Spiderman! Go put it on, and try to web-sling from a really tall building. Go ahead now.

      • Science

        Gender is in the brain, not the genitals, you rabid idiot. LEARN

        • reality

          guest IS correct…NO question
          if gender is “ONLY IN THE BRAIN”, why have the surgery?
          brain surgery doesnt change
          one’s gender, either
          transgender surgery & those that
          APPLAUD these decisions, will
          say exactly what to their
          CREATOR?
          or do you also believe in some
          big bang theory, evolution from
          “other” creatures, atheism,
          agnostics, & the like is just ways
          to attempt/live guilt-free…that
          they don’t/won’t be held
          accountable for giving in to their
          respective whims,desires, lusts,
          immorality…it’s a fated sign of
          our times(NO HATRED, NOT A
          PRUDE-REALITY CHECK THAT
          MOST DONT WANT TO HEAR)

          INVOLVED/RATHER A REALITY

        • reality

          just posting as “science” speaks
          for itself….science has is trumped
          by truth/reality
          because science/medicine has
          found a way(s) to amputate &
          disfigure one’s body doesn’t
          mean its moral, decent, smart,….
          read your science books and see
          if there is an explanation of our
          dna?(in other words, did our dna
          and genomes just “become” out
          of “thin air”? big bang? primates?
          science books are NOT even
          accurate to begin with! when the
          respective “publishers” are shown to be in need of corrections/updating/deletions,
          most (if not all) will keep on
          printing inaccuracies.
          SCIENCE VS REALITY
          WHAT A CONCEPT

        • Jess

          Well, so is drug addiction, pornography, molestation, etc., but you don’t give in to it!!! We ALL have the choice to fix what’s not normal.

    • reality

      CREATING AWARENESS OF WHAT
      EXACTLY ASHLEY PRICE? THAT TOO
      MANY PEOPLE HAVE TURNED AWAY
      FROM TRUTH? THE TRUTH IS WHAT
      MOST DONT WANT TO HEAR OR
      ACCEPT…LETS FACE IT-MORE AND
      MORE PEOPLE ARE SIMPLY AND
      “ACCEPTEDLY” AGNOSTICS OR
      ATHEISTS & MANY WONT EVEN
      ACTUALLY ADMIT IT EITHER.
      LIKE IT/ACCEPT IT OR NOT, THIS HAS ALL BEEN FORETOLD HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO BY
      PERSONS FAR GREATER THAN
      OURSELVES.
      ITS NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, BUT
      WHAT YOU DO WITH THAT KNOWLEDGE. ITS NOT HOW MUCH
      YOUVE READ, BUT WHAT YOU’VE
      READ. ACTIONS/”INACTIONS” WILL
      ALWAYS SPEAK LOUDER THAN
      MERE WORDS. MOST CANT/WON’T
      HANDLE THE TRUTH…WHICH IN
      PART, EXPLAINS MORE MORE DRUG
      USAGE & DEVELOPMENT OF NEWER
      REC DRUGS; ALCOHOL ABUSE;
      SUICIDES; & NOT BEING “REAL”!

    • reality

      THESE DAYS, THE ENTIRE STATUS
      OF OUR MORALITY IS PERHAPS AT
      THE LOWEST IN CENTURIES….IN THE
      SENSE OF “ACCEPTANCE” & THESE
      EN MASSE STANDING OVATIONS FOR PERVERSIONS OF ONES BODY
      & MIND.
      ….AND IT IS ONLY GOING TO GET
      WORSE (TRANSLATION FOR THE
      “MASSES” – GOING TO BECOME
      EASIER/MORE AND MORE EN VOGUE/ACCEPTABLE TO BE
      MORAL-FREE)…THEN WHAT?
      THIS IS THE LIBERATION YOU SO
      DESPERATELY WANTED?
      IT IS HARDLY ANY WONDER WHY
      SO MANY PEOPLE ARE ABUSING,
      USING, HURTING, KILLING, &
      “GETTING AWAY WITH IT”

 

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