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Trans Supermodels Pay Tribute to "Pioneer" Alexis Arquette
The cast of Oxygen's new series #Strut honors the late trans actress' impact on the community — and the world.
The world is remembering Alexis Arquette following her death on Sunday, September 11 for her acting career and for her help in fostering acceptance of the trans community. The new Oxygen series Strut also attempts to break down trans barriers while representing Slay Model Management, the first exclusively transgender modeling agency, and the cast showed their gratitude toward everything Alexis has done in paving the way for members of the community during the show's premiere party in New York on Monday.
Cassandra Cass, a longtime Los Angeles-based performer and Slay office assistant, said she was a "huge fan" of Alexis. "I feel that Alexis Arquette was ahead of her time. She went through a lot of pain and struggle that some of us didn't have to go through. I remember The Surreal Life when they were being mean to her. To me, she's a pioneer, and it's sad," Cassandra told The Daily Dish on the red carpet at the event. "But you know what, she meant something to me and the community, and I believe she's somewhere in a happier place. But thank you, thank you for everything you've done."
The cast of the new Oxygen series Strut poses on the red carpet of the show's premiere party in New York on Monday, September 12. From left: Arisce Wanzer, Ren Spriggs, Isis King, Cecilio Asuncion, Dominique Jackson, Laith de la Cruz, Cassandra Cass.
Model Arisce Wanzer said that Alexis, who was sister to Rosanna, Patricia, David, and Richmond Arquette, was someone she could look up to as she went through her own transition. "I was saddened by the news just because she was a great trans presence in the media. She came out pretty much on TV because the Arquettes are so famous," she said. "And so I saw that when I was much younger, and it sort of opens a door for you. And you're like, 'Oh my God, I can do this. She's accepted by her family, and so maybe my family will accept me.' And so she was an inspiration of mine, so it was really upsetting to see that happen, but I was very happy to see that she was surrounded by loving people who wanted nothing but the best for her because she was a lovely person."
Veteran model Dominique Jackson told The Daily Dish that she is glad to see that Alexis is now being recognized for who she was as a person, not only for how she may have identified herself during her lifetime. "It was disheartening, very sad, but the thing that happens — and my condolences to her family and friends — but the thing about it is, we see the love now," she said at the event. "Many people that are now loving the human being that she was and it's not about her identity or anything, you know, how she identifies herself. It was more about the human being, the beautiful human being that she was."