By Hayden Wright
Jackie Evancho is perhaps the biggest star lined up to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration—a gig that a growing list of celebrities turned down. She and her family gave an interview to The New York Times explaining her rationale for accepting the invitation despite a polarized political landscape.
“I just kind of thought that this is for my country,” Jackie said. “So if people are going to hate on me it’s for the wrong reason.”
Evancho’s father said that he, Jackie’s mother and her three siblings will not likely attend the inauguration—the Times notes that whether they received tickets is murky. Evancho’s sister Juliet identifies as transgender. Jackie will perform alongside the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Rockettes, two groups that have sustained resignations and internal protests in light of Trump’s politics.
“For me it’s not political,” Jackie said of Republican views on transgender people. “It’s just accepting people for who they are.”
Mr. Evancho said the family is currently fighting discrimination at Juliet’s Pittsburgh-area high school. All told, Juliet comes across as a good sport about her sister’s choice, despite the incoming administration’s support of anti-trans positions.
“I never worry about Jackie when it comes to singing,” Juliet said. “I’m more worried what people say and if it gets to her.”