Opera singer Jackie Evancho, who will be singing the national anthem at Donald Trump’s inauguration, is facing an onslaught of criticism because she has a transgender sister.
Jackie, 16, received her big break when she was a finalist on season five of “America’s Got Talent” at 10 years old. Her sister Juliet, 18, came out as transgender at Global Lyme Alliance’s inaugural gala last year.
Juliet penned an essay, published on Wednesday, for Teen Vogue describing her struggles with gender identity.
“Jackie’s newfound fame put our entire family under a microscope. This made things even more difficult for me,” Juliet writes. “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.”
According to the Huffington Post, Juliet is also one of three transgender students suing a Pennsylvania school district over restroom access for transgender students.
The essay, along with Jackie’s inauguration announcement, has brought lots of negative online attention to the Evancho family. People reports users have tweeted abuse at the young singer for having a trans sister.
“My family is kind of a big target. I have a transgender sister and so a lot of hate goes towards us,” Jackie said in an interview with People.
However, Jackie is doing her best to ignore the negativity.
“I also get a lot of love. We pay most attention to that,” Jackie continued.
Jackie has also performed twice for President Barack Obama. First, in 2010 she performed at the National Christmas Tree Lightening and again in 2012 at the National Prayer Breakfast.