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Teen Singing at Trump's Inauguration Is Familiar With Anti-Trans Bullying

Jackie Evancho

One of the less serious repercussions of last month's election result has been the severe shortage of musicians willing to perform for Donald Trump's inauguration. News broke Wednesday that 16-year-old Jackie Evancho, the child prodigy who rose to fame in 2010 as the runner-up on America’s Got Talent, would be singing the national anthem for the ceremony January 20. The announcement was, not surprisingly, met with derision since the president-elect is deeply unpopular. But Evancho said she's used to it.

"My family is kind of a big target," Jackie Evancho told People. "I have a transgender sister, and so a lot of hate goes towards us. ... I was actually very happy for [Juliet] because she finally found herself and she can be who she wants to be. I actually cried, because what worried me was that she was going to get teased."

Juliet Evancho came out publicly last year at the Global Lyme Alliance’s first gala, and since then Evancho and her family have become targets of online trolls.

Teen Vogue recently published an essay by Juliet on her gender dysphoria and the pressure of the spotlight. She said that she was reluctant to reveal her lifelong struggle, especially after her sister competed on America’s Got Talent. 

"Jackie’s newfound fame put our entire family under a microscope. This made things even more difficult for me," Juliet wrote. "Now, I not only worried about what my family thought of me, but I also worried about some trashy magazine trying to make a spectacle out of me if they found out, and it hurting my family."

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