Jackie Evancho Wants to "Enlighten" Trump on Transgender Rights
The singer, who performed at inauguration, and her transgender sister reacted to Trump's decision to revoke transgender student bathroom protections on 'GMA.'
Inauguration singer Jackie Evancho and her transgender sister appeared on Good Morning America Thursday in a effort to "enlighten" President Donald Trump in the wake of his controversial decision to roll back an Obama administration guideline 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," said Jackie Evancho. "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 in January, was one of the first artists to speak out after Trump's administration lifted the federal protections. Her sister, Juliet Evancho, 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 her Wednesday plea to meet with him in person to discuss transgender issues.
"U gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rghts," [sic] she tweeted at the president.
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," Jackie 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 Evancho 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 Evancho 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 Evancho 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."
Activists protested the move Wednesday outside the White House and many Hollywood figures, including Katy Perry, Patricia Arquette and Ellen DeGeneres, took to Twitter to express their concern over the decision.
A version of this story originally appeared on Billboard.com.