While 18-year-old Jackie Evancho goes on stage at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, her transgender sister Juliet will be going under the knife.
According to TMZ, 16-year-old Juliet will be undergoing gender reassignment surgery in Philadelphia on Friday so that she can “finally be herself.” The plans for her surgery have been in the works for months, and her absence from the inauguration ceremony is not out of protest of Trump or Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s views on LGBTQ+ rights.
“I really wish that my whole family was here,” Jackie told TMZ while strolling through our nation’s capital. “Unfortunately, they’re not. My sister is having a big medical procedure right now, but if she wasn’t, she would’ve been here.”
Juilet told CBS Sunday Morning that she was proud of her sister for choosing to perform at the inauguration, saying, “The way I look at it is, Jackie is singing for our country, and it’s an honor for her to be singing in front of so many people. So I feel that’s really where I look at it. And that’s where I’m going to leave it right now.”
As for Jackie, the singer admitted that singing the National Anthem after Aretha Franklin and Beyonce will be “hard to follow,” but she’s going to do the best she can. The girls’ parents have not revealed who they voted for in November, but the family has been very supportive of Juliet’s transition ever since she came out to them in 2015.
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