In the run-up to Donald Trump’s inauguration, sixteen-year-old singer Jackie Evancho remains the only major solo act confirmed to perform. But in an interview with the New York Times, the former America’s Got Talent contestant insisted that her performance is not political. “I just kind of thought that this is for my country,” she said. “So if people are going to hate on me it’s for the wrong reason.” Jackie’s older sister Juliet, who is transgender, will not be attending the inauguration ceremony and told the Times that she has “prior engagements.” Though Trump’s VP Mike Pence’s record on LGBT rights would seem to threaten Juliet’s legal rights, Jackie also insisted that singing at the inauguration was not a statement, saying that she could “100 percent” support her sister and perform for Trump.
Jackie Evancho has performed for Trump before at his Mar-a-Lago golf club in 2011. Her parents, who are suing their school district over Juliet’s right to use women’s bathrooms, would not disclose who they voted for. “For me it’s not political,” Jackie told the Times about her parents’ lawsuit. “It’s just accepting people for who they are.”