Alexis Arquette, Transgender Trailblazer Dies at 47

In 2004, Alexis Arquette began confiding in friends and telling them she was going to “phase out the boy” side of her personality and live as a woman. Sham Ibrahim, a friend and fellow drag performer, told The Hollywood Reporter, “I didn’t even bat an eyelash because it seemed so normal and natural.” Arquette died Sunday, September 11, 2016 at the age of forty-seven from complications related to AIDS.

In her late 30s, Arquette’s decision to transition to female was documented in the 2007 film “Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother.” Arquette kept the intimate details of her transition private which created tension with the filmmakers.

When her health complications started progressing in 2013, Arquette began presenting herself as a man again. According to Ibrahim, Arquette told him: “Gender is bullshit. Putting on a dress doesn’t biologically change anything. Nor does a sex-change.  Sex-reassignment is physically impossible. All you can do is adopt these superficial characteristics but the biology will never change.”

Rest in peace, Alexis.

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