Trump's Inauguration Singer Has A Transgender Sister Who Is Fighting For Equal Rights

18-year-old Juliet Evancho is a vocal advocate for trans rights.

This week, it was announced that Pittsburgh native Jackie Evancho, 16, will be singing the national anthem at president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony. After shooting to fame at the tender age of 10 as runner-up on America's Got Talent, Evancho stayed in the spotlight. She has sung for the Obamas, too. 

Juliet Evancho, her older sister, came out as transgender to the public last year while accompanying her sister on the red carpet at an event in New York. Ever since, Juliet, previously known as Jacob, has been a staunch advocate of transgender rights. 


According to the Huffington Post, Juliet, 18, is one of the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit opposing a Pennsylvania school district's rule restricting transgender students' bathroom use. The struggle over so-called "bathroom bills" has emerged across the country in the past year, with many activists and the LGBT community fighting hard for the right to use the restrooms intended for their gender identity. 

In an interview with KDKA in September, Juliet told a reporter that she was personally targeted by some students after the Pine-Richland school district voted for a rule requiring transgender students to use either unisex bathrooms or bathrooms designated for the gender on their birth certificate. When asked why unisex bathrooms were problematic, Juliet said, "Because it marginalizes us. It makes us feel even more separated."

Trump's position on bathroom bills is uncertain. When North Carolina made national headlines for its bathroom bill, Trump said that trans people should "use the bathroom they feel is appropriate" and that North Carolina should "leave it the way it is."

After sustained conservative backlash, Trump amended his stance, saying that states should have the right to decide on the issue, without federal government involvement. While Trump seems to be focused on filling his new cabinet at the moment, LGBT advocates are concerned that their rights could take a beating over the next four years; his vice president Mike Pence has previously held staunch anti-LGBT stances.

Recently, Juliet wrote a piece in Teen Vogue detailing her struggle with gender identity. Coming out to her family was challenging, she wrote, but they were ultimately supportive. "This hasn't been an easy road, and I sometimes still ask myself 'Why me?'" she recalled. 

"I've seen many hateful things online regarding the transgender community from people who hide behind a computer screen and say things like 'God doesn't make mistakes,' quoting Bible verses that condemn my transition, and they say I'm doing this for attention... I know God made me this way and guided me through this process. He also gave me a large platform to share my story so that I can show others who have similar stories and struggles that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So I'm here to tell you that you don't have to sacrifice who you are in order to be loved and accepted."

Cover image via Action Sports Photography /


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