President Trump would welcome a meeting with inauguration singer Jackie Evancho and her sister, Juliet after he removed transgender protection in schools.
According to the Daily Mail, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in a Thursday briefing was asked if President Trump was aware that the 16-year-old singer wanted to speak with him over the complications facing young people in the transgender community. Spicer had replied the “president would be welcome to meet with her.”
— Trump Daily News (@TrumpDailyTweet) February 24, 2017
Evancho had appeared on Good Morning America, a day after the 45th president of the United States reversed a landmark decision by former President Barack Obama that allowed transgender students use bathrooms of their choosing. The classical crossover singer on Thursday morning said she wanted a meeting with the president so that she could “enlighten” him over the discrimination that people like her sister Juliet faced intermittently.
Juliet Evancho, who was born Jacob, talked firsthand about the abuses she suffered in school and how crucial it was to protect the rights of the transgender student. Juliet knew she was different when she used to dress up with sister, Jackie, play with dolls and pinch her mother’s make-up. According to her, she always felt like a girl living in a boy’s body and had never even heard the word “transgender” before.
Juliet said people had been supportive ever since she came out with gender-dysphoria, but others had been less sympathetic especially in school. Juliet, who fully came out as a transgender woman on her 17th birthday, pointed out that President Trump needed to realize that he was creating a dangerous environment for transgender young people with his directive.
“Donald Trump needs to know that being in such an unsafe environment won’t do any good…not only for the transgender and LGBT community, but everyone as a whole.”
Last year, Obama had directed public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that matched their gender identity. The Democrat president had threatened to withhold funding from any school that refused to comply. The move was seen as a resounding victory in the transgender community. But when Trump took office last month, he rescinded the guidelines even when they had been halted by a judge. The federal judge had argued that states and public schools reserved the right to make their decisions without federal meddling, according to Reuters.
LGBT protests were recorded in front of the White House in light of Trump’s action. Rachel Tiven, chief executive of Lambda Legal for LGBT people, described Trump’s directive on transgender children as a “new low.”
— ABC News (@ABC) February 24, 2017
However, the move has drawn plenty of support among conservatives. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who challenged the Obama action said the reversal was never directed at the LGBT community, but against a president who skimmed past Congress to pursue a personal agenda.
“Our fight over the bathroom directive has always been about former President Obama’s attempt to bypass Congress and rewrite the laws to fit his political agenda for radical social change.”
Jackie Evancho courted headlines when she agreed to sing at Trump’ swearing-in ceremony as the 45th president of the United States. Many were surprised at the 16-year-old singer’s decision especially when her sister Juliet was transgender and the Trump team had exhibited anti-LGBTQ views during the course of the campaign.
Jackie has always insisted that her inaugural performance was not politically driven, adding that she would do it all over again despite the present circumstances. On Wednesday, the America’s Got Talent runner-up had tweeted at President Trump asking for a meeting for her and her older sister.
“I am obviously disappointed in the @POTUS decision to send the #transgender bathroom issue to the states to decide. #sisterlove, realDonaldTrump u gave me the honor 2 sing at your inauguration. Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rights.”
The president did not respond which prompted the young singer to appear on Good Morning America to raise more awareness.
[Featured Image by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP Images]