On Monday, I read a CNN article about the death of Alexis Arquette. Alexis (born Robert) was a transgender activist and actor, best known for playing in The Wedding Singer and Pulp Fiction.
Arquette initially changed his name to Alexis and eventually identified as female, but later apparently reconsidered that identity.
What struck me in the CNN article was that Alexis’s brother, Richmond Arquette, reportedly posted this on Facebook on Sunday morning:
“Our brother Robert, who became our brother Alexis, who became our sister Alexis, who became our brother Alexis, passed this morning September 11, at 12:32 a.m.”
The article also documented that another sibling, David Arquette, confirmed that Alexis no longer identified as female. Despite all this, the CNN reporter felt compelled to refer to Alexis using female identifiers so the headline read “Alexis Arquette dies at 47: Actress and transgender activist.” And although the brothers used male pronouns in talking about him, the reporter vacillated back and forth between using “he” and “she.”
I noted first the difficulty, even for CNN, of doing what the Obama administration’s Departments of Justice and Education are requiring school districts to do: police the pronouns used by students and faculty to refer to those who have at one point professed one identity and at another point been known by another (never mind the potential Constitutional problems with government forcing people to say things that discount objective reality and violate their conscience… but that’s a blog for another day).
I further mused that the author, and perhaps CNN itself, were concerned about the fury that the LGBT and progressive left would no doubt unleash on them if they dared to respect the current gender identity of this “de-transitioned” soul—the type of person that the movement tries to deny exists.
For me, this highlighted an inherent inconsistency with the movement’s underlying premise that people must be respected and treated as the gender with which they identify. In practice the movement only allows that concept to go one way: people must be affirmed in their professed identity if it’s the opposite of their “birth sex,” but are never affirmed – even in death—if they later question that identity and want to go back.
What I hadn’t fully appreciated was the fury that the progressive Facebook mob would unleash on the grieving brother. By late Sunday, Richmond Arquette released a press release via his Facebook account drafted by his sister Patricia Arquette, using exclusively female pronouns
to refer to Alexis. At some point, Richmond deleted his original post celebrating his brother’s life. And the “why” of that is implicit in the post Richmond wrote
in the wake of all this, a few excerpts from which are below:
“I’ve noticed without surprise that there are people who are not so generous in their expressions.”
“There are others who have been condemning and judgmental, insulting and vitriolic.”
“I’ve read that some people are offended by my use of the male pronoun in referring to Alexis in a Facebook post I made . . . a post that was picked up and quoted by various news outlets.”
“[A] woman . . . said that my use of the pronoun ‘he’ was offensive and transphobic.”
“There was certainly a time when she insisted on being called a woman, (I laugh at the memory of asking her to help me take out the garbage when we were living together and her indignant response: ‘That’s a man’s job! I’m a woman!’), but those who take offense at my use of the male pronoun were quite simply not privy to the many conversations we had near the end of Alexis’ life.”
How sad that the progressive Facebook mob found Richmond’s heartfelt, truthful recounting of his brother’s experience so damaging to their cause that he had to be publically flogged into submission with the agenda’s narrative – within hours of his brother’s passing.
Alexis’ journey and Richmond’s Facebook posts from this week reveal the truth that the progressive narrative fears. Alexis journeyed to his female identity as one stop along the way toward eventually embracing again his genetic sex. And for this, the movement browbeat his grieving family members into silence to stop the telling of his story. Because, even in death, the progressive mantra must go on—innate, fixed, and ever tolerant.