Jackie Evancho’s sister Juliet has proudly announced that she is a transgender teen. The 17-year-old made her first public appearance as a transgender woman while joining her famous sister on the red carpet at the Global Lyme Alliance’s inaugural gala on Oct. 8. Congrats, Juliet!
It was a night filled with firsts for Juliet Evancho, 17, at the Global Lyme Alliance’s inaugural gala in New York on Oct. 8, as the event not only marked her first gala and her first time posing on a red carpet, but also her first time coming out as a transgender teen. The 17-year-old joined her younger sister, classical singer and America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho, 15, for the event, in which she proudly revealed her “true” identity to the public and the journey she faced in getting to that point.
“I was so nervous, I was excited – so many emotions, ” Juliet told People on preparing for her public coming out. “I couldn’t sleep last night. But when we finally got [here], it was just like, ‘It’s happening.’ “
It’s been a long journey for Juliet, who now admits she “couldn’t be happier” after transitioning from male to female. Born Jacob to parents Mike and Lisa Evancho, Juliet always new she felt different and out of place in her own body. “Ever since I was little, I always played with Barbies,” she told the magazine. “I put on makeup and played dress-up with my sister, to the point where my mom started getting me princess dresses.” Finally, by the age of 13 Julie and Lisa started doing some research on trans people, which would eventually lead Juliet to make one of the biggest decisions of her life.
“She was the one who was like, ‘Maybe you’re transgender,’ ” Juliet remembers. “So I did a bunch of research, I was up really late, didn’t get any sleep because I was just so immersed in all of these different stories that people told. A lot of them resonated with me, and that was when I was like, ‘I’m transgender.’ I knew deep in me that this was not me, and I needed to make the change.'”
Finally, after working with a therapist for over three years, Jacob officially became Juliet on her 17th birthday. “I came out to my family and extended family, and everyone has been so supportive, and it’s kicked off after that,” she said of sitting down with her family, including younger brother Zachary, now 13, and Rachel, now 12.
After her mother, one of the first people Juliet reportedly came out to was her sister Jackie, who recently performed for Pope Francis, 78, during his visit to America. “I actually cried because … what worried me was that she was going to get teased,” said Jackie. “She told me she was transgender, and I was actually very happy for her because she finally found herself, and she can be who she wants to be.”
It’s so great to see that Juliet is receiving the support she deserves from her entire family. Congrats Juliet!
— Alyssa Montemurro