Tom Petty made a statement during his recent sold-out 40th anniversary shows at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. The two Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers shows featured a photo of late transgender actress, Alexis Arquette, as the band played their classic song, “American Girl,” as an encore. According to Page Six, the image of Arquette and other diverse women flashed on a huge screen as Petty and the Heartbreakers played their radio-friendly 1977 hit. Alexis Arquette died of complications from AIDS in 2016.
Petty’s band regularly features pictures of a diverse group of women when they perform the song “American Girl,”, but the image of Arquette takes on new meaning. Fans noted the image appeared at Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Forest Hills shows just a few hours after Donald Trump posted a controversial tweet banning transgender citizens from serving in the military.