Jackie Evancho, the America’s Got Talent runner-up who’ll sing at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration Friday, will be performing for all of America, says her transgender sister, Juliet.
“The way I look at it is, Jackie is singing for our country, and it’s an honor for her to be singing in front of so many people,” Juliet Evancho told CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Michele Miller in a segment aired today. “So I feel like that’s really where I look at it. And that’s where I’m going to leave it right now.” Juliet, however, won’t attend the inauguration due to a previous engagement, she said.
Both sisters are LGBT rights supporters, and Jackie has received some criticism for agreeing to perform for an administration expected to be hostile to the cause. But Jackie Evancho said she wants her appearance to transcend politics.
“I hope to just kind of make everyone forget about rivals and politics for a second, and just think about America and the pretty song that I’m singing,” Jackie told Miller. “I’m hoping that I can bring people together.” Jackie has previously sung for President Obama and has released several albums.
When Juliet came out as transgender a few years ago, it didn’t change the two teens’ relationship, they said. “We were always really close with each other, even before I transitioned and everything. I was still always her sister, if that makes sense?” Juliet said. Jackie said she always knew Juliet, although assigned male at birth, identified as female — “It’s kind of hard not to,” she told Miller.
Jackie also discussed the bullying she has encountered, regarding both her career and her sister’s transgender identity — something she has addressed in previous interviews. Watch a video report below, and the CBS Sunday Morning clip below that.