On Saturday, April 1, the GLAAD Media Awards honored celebrities, movies, and TV shows that have furthered LGBTQ rights over the past year.
Troye Sivan, the gay Australian pop singer who is most famous for the song "Youth" and has inspired Miley Cyrus, received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Other awards included Other People for Outstanding Film – Limited Release, Eyewitness for Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series, and The Bold and The Beautiful for Outstanding Daily Drama.
But the highlight of the ceremony may have been Patricia Arquette's speech as she accepted the Vanguard Award. She spoke about her sister Alexis Arquette, a transgender actress and activist who died last year.
"She had a very successful career as an actor and she knew she was risking losing her livelihood in living her truth, that she would lose parts in living her life as a trans woman. She risked it all because she knew she couldn't live a life that was a lie. So whatever mark I have made in this life in activism will always pale in the light of Alexis' bravery and the light of every trans kid growing up in America," she said. "Visibility matters, and right now trans visibility really matters. It is not an easy life to be a trans person in the United States of America today."
Arquette is right that trans people face an enormous amount of discrimination in the U.S., which is why public statements like hers and movies and shows that portray multidimensional LGBTQ people are so important.