The teenager who performed at Donald Trump's inauguration has a few words for him now that his administration has withdrawn transgender bathroom protections developed under the Obama administration that provided guidance on making bathrooms available to transgender students. Jackie Evancho wants to educate Trump on transgender rights, she announced both on Twitter and in a Thursday morning interview with Good Morning America.
Evancho, who first became famous on America's Got Talent in 2010, is not happy with Trump's decision and mainly because it hits close to home for her. The 16-year-old has an 18-year-old sister, Juliet, who is transgender. "I guess I just want to enlighten him on what I’ve seen my sister go through every single day in school and people just like her what they deal with," she told GMA. "The discrimination, it’s terrible. I guess I kind of just really want him to relook at that."
Juliet joined her sister in the interview and gave her opinion as well on Trump's most recent actions as president. She said,
"Basically that being at a high school where the policies on the bathroom are unclear, I — as Jackie has said — kind of live it every day, going through discrimination. I’ve had things thrown at me, I’ve had people say pretty horrible things. The unsafe environment is just very unhealthy. I feel like Donald Trump needs to know that being in such an unsafe environment won’t do any good for the transgender and LGBT community but as well as everyone as a whole."
As for Juliet's school, she said that it has "overall" been protective of her.
Before appearing on GMA, Evancho took to Twitter Wednesday voicing her concern and said, "I am obviously disappointed in the @POTUS decision to send the #transgender bathroom issue to the states to decide. #sisterlove" She added, ".@realDonaldTrump u gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender [rights]."
Here's hoping the Evancho sisters get the chance to sit down with Trump and discuss why transgender rights should be recognized and taken seriously. They both obviously know how important they are to transgender individuals.
Evancho received much criticism after agreeing to sing at Trump's inauguration, especially since her sister is transgender. She told People last December, "I have a transgender sister and so a lot of hate goes towards us." Between Trump's views on the LGBTQ community and Vice President Mike Pence's, many were confused about her decision.
She has always maintained that the reason she sang at the inauguration wasn't for political reasons, but because she wanted to do it for her country. That's something she repeated again during her chat with GMA Thursday and said, "The reason why I did sing for the inauguration was not politics. It was for the honor and the privilege to perform for my country. And that will stay the same, I think."
You certainly can't fault Evancho for standing up for not only her sister, who she clearly loves deeply, but for the entire transgender community. Let's hope she manages to find time to sit down with Trump and influence him to make some necessary changes when it comes to LGBTQ rights.