Singer Jackie Evancho and her transgender sister appeared on Good Morning America on Thursday morning (Feb. 23) in a effort to “enlighten” Pres. Trump in the wake of his controversial decision to roll back an Obama administration rule protecting transgender students’ bathroom rights.
“I guess I just want to enlighten him on what my sister — I’ve seen her go through every single day in school,” Evancho said. “And people just like her, what they deal with… the discrimination, it’s terrible.”
Trump’s action effectively ended federal protection for transgender students that required schools to allow the use of bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identities. Evancho, who sang at Trump’s inauguration last month, was one of the first artists to speak out against the new rule. Her sister, Juliet, 18, is transgender and currently embroiled along with their parents in a lawsuit against their local school district in Pennsylvania over her right to use women’s bathrooms.
One of the only well-known pop artists who agreed to perform for Trump’s inauguration, the 16-year-old America’s Got Talent runner-up said she had not heard back from the president since Wednesday’s plea to meet with him in person to discuss transgender issues. Regardless, she insisted his recent order wouldn’t affect her decision to perform for another presidential event.
“The reason why I did sing for the inauguration was not politics,” Evancho, 16, told the show. “It was for the honor and privilege to perform for my country and that will stay the same, I think.”
GMA noted that Juliet did not attend the Jan. 20 inauguration with the rest of the family because she was preparing to undergo gender confirmation surgery. “Basically that being at a high school where the policies on the bathroom are unclear, I, as Jackie has said, I kind of live it every day, going through discrimination,” Juliet said she’d tell the president. “I’ve had things thrown at me. I’ve had people say pretty horrible things and the unsafe environment is just very unhealthy so I feel like Donald Trump needs to know that being in such an unsafe environment won’t do any good not only for the transgenders and the LGBTQ community but as well as everyone as a whole.”
Jackie said when she heard about Trump’s actions she was “very disappointed,” adding that she “realized that we would need to take action in order to enlighten the administration on everything.”
Watch the interview below: