Alexis Arquette’s unheard story
Alexis Arquette was one of the transgender community’s most famous faces. Let’stake a closer look at the prolific and complicated career of her. Then we will find out who she really was. From her promising beginning to her heartbreaking ending.
She secretly battled with HIV for nearly three decades
Arquette died in the early morning hours of September 11, 2016, at age 47. People magazine has document about her death and they confirmed that she had been battling HIV for 29 years. According to People, Arquette had been suffering for a long time. At one point, she wasn’t able to leave the house, she indeed was in bad shape.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Arquette has remained fiercely private about her health struggles. She even ignored her friends’ and family’s entreaties to take the life-saving AIDS drugs that were emerging every year. In the weeks of her death, she had developed an infection that spread throughout her body, starting from her liver. And her death certificate cites cardiac arrest that as her immediate cause of death.
A statement from Alexis’ sister, on the morning of Alexis’ death shed more details on her final moments. Alexis’s family held her and sang her David Bowie’s ‘Starman’ as she punched through the veil to the other side. They washed her body in rose petals and surrounded her with flowers.
Her final months were a struggle
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Alexis spent final months living in The Palm View. It’s a low-income apartment complex in West Hollywood for residents with HIV or AIDS. The report claims that she was struggling to make ends meet even though people determined that she lives self-sufficiently.
She began cross-dressing at the age of nine
Born as Robert on July 28, 1969, just when she was only 9 years old, Alexis began to cross-dress. According to some interview footage on YouTube, Alexis recalls feeling like her gender is female from an even earlier age. She said that about 5 years old, she’d always line up with the girls and she also wanted to wear dresses.
The Hollywood Reporter adds that she was going by the name “Alexis” by the age of 16. Patricia, her sister, told the Los Angeles Times in 2008 that she remembered Alexis getting dressed in drag at age 4.
She sometimes struggled with identity her gender
Although she came out as transgender in 2006. Alexis allegedly stopped called herself as transgender following Caitlyn Jenner’s big debut in 2015. Her brother, David Arquette, talked about Alexis’ identity on a February 2016 episode of Kocktails with Khloe. He said that she was sometimes a man, sometimes a woman. And she even refers to herself as gender suspicious. David thinks that, because of Caitlyn, Alexis was like she already did that. So she wants to take it to the next level.
Alexis’ longtime friend, Sham Ibrahim, talked more about the issue to The Hollywood Reporter. Claiming that Alexis began presenting herself as a man in 2013 as her health deteriorated. She told him that gender is non-sense. But putting on a dress doesn’t biologically change anything, nor does a sex-change. According to Ibrahim, Alexis said that sex-reassignment might forever be physically impossible. She even said that “All we can do is adopt these superficial characteristics. But the biology will never change.” Radar magazine alleged that Alexis’ health prevented her from getting the sex-change surgery she’d so badly wanted.
Ibrahim told the Hollywood reporter that Alexis was very attractive, very beautiful. She has harems of lovers from both genders. Even movie stars would be into her because of her androgynous look. But even though with all of that, she still could never find the right man to love her. And he thinks that as her health was worsening, presenting as a woman. It was too much of a struggle to even think about. Being able to get up and put that dress on and the wig, it was too much for her!
Sister Patricia helped Alexis land her breakout role
Do you know why she went to New York city? Because this is the place where Patricia, her sister, takes the starring role in Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989). Patricia turned the role down because she was pregnant at the time. So producers offered Alexis the role of Georgette. At the time, the report claimed that Alexis had only just begun to experiment with drag performances.
Steady acting roles, which is hard to find
Alexis went on to land roles in Pulp Fiction (1994) and The Wedding Singer (1998). And she did pretty well. But her acting career never matched the level of her famous siblings. According to Ibrahim, Alexis was simply just too far ahead of the times. He told that she was out and proud at 15 years old, at a time when that was just unheard of. Many directors and producers avoided her. Because she was rightfully angry about how she should have had the success and notoriety that she deserved.
Alexis said that even high-profile gigs didn’t do much to improve her career, movie like The Wedding Singer for example. She told Out magazine in 2015 that it doesn’t matter how big a film is. Their attention span is that of a housefly. Your fame only exists until somebody defamed you, she said. In the same interview, she also cited some bad experiences with Oprah Winfrey and Sharon Osbourne. Also, working on the documentary Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother is too, a bad experience for her.
She appeared at RuPaul’sDragCon
One day after Alexis’ death, RuPaul’sDragCon posted a panel discussion from May 2016 that Alexis participated. They indeed the topic named Wigstock: The Movie and the public’s newfound and make interesting in drag.
Arquette said (via Us Weekly) that she totally cried that day, three times, just by watching it. She said that it’s good to see that people feel interested in drag now. And they also made that money from drag, that people can be superstars from drag. It’s fantastic and she loves it.
Arquette said that it’s a little scary that people thought it was a disadvantage. It’s starting to get boxed up. And she doesn’t want people to think they can’t be a part of this. Because they are not good at putting on makeup. She thinks it’s cool that peoples can be living the life of drag or being their authentic self, wherever they are working at.