Former child star singing sensation Jacke Evancho, who performed The National Anthem at Donald Trump’s inauguration, has been increasingly vocal about transgender rights since he took office. Evancho and her sister Juliet, who is trans, spoke eloquently about the perceived dissonance between Evancho performing for a man who in his first 100 days in office rescinded President Barack Obama-era protections for trans students and Jackie’s outspoken support of her sister and trans people on The View on Friday.
Defending her decision to perform at the inauguration where she was one of the best-known talents—compared to the line-up at Obama’s two inaugurations that included Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Bruce Springsteen, Usher, Shakira, U2 and more—Jackie said, “It was for my country and because my president asked me to sing it… Who would say no to that? It was a huge honor, and I had to seize the opportunity.”
At the time Jackie, 17, sang The Star Spangled Banner for the inauguration, Juliet, 18, was in Washington D.C. for gender confirmation surgery, Juliet told the women of The View. One might think that since Jackie was one of very few actual celebrities to perform for Trump at his inauguration that she might have his ear, but continued attempts to set up a meeting to discuss transgender rights with Trump have been met with silence, she told The View panel.
The sisters said they hope to appeal to Trump about transgender rights and protections, especially since Juliet had been the victim of essentially bullying by parents of students at her school who were confused and outraged by her use of the restroom. Juliet said the parents were “thinking we’re (trans kids) monsters there to harm their children.” But Juliet took the school to court and won the right for her and other trans kids to use the bathroom they identify with, she said.
Regarding Trump’s inaction and the White House’s refusal to acknowledge the Evancho Sisters’ request for a discussion, Jackie said, that they are working on it.
Juliet explained that should a meeting with the administration come to fruition, “We would make him aware of what, me, as a transgender person, and [Jackie] have experienced at our school since all the turmoil. I’ve had things thrown at me," she said.
For her part, Jackie said she’s has been a target of hateful rhetoric on the internet since she made the decision to perform for Trump.
Watch the interview below.