Juliet Evancho before TLC’s family special is poised, confident, and ready for anything

Juliet Evancho before 1

“Growing Up Evancho,” TLC’s hour-long special on the home life and family dynamic of America’s Got Talent phenom Jackie Evancho, devotes a considerable portion of its runtime to the relationship between Jackie and her older sister, 19-year-old Juliet. (We chronicled Juliet Evancho’s transgender journey in an earlier article, which you can read here.) Juliet rose to national prominence earlier this year, after Jackie was asked to sing at the 2016 Presidential Inauguration; she gained further exposure after taking her Pittsburgh-area school district to court over their anti-trans bathroom policy.

On top of all that, Juliet actually missed Jackie’s performance at the inauguration because she was undergoing sex reassignment surgery. So it’s probably fair to say that 2017 has already been the biggest year in her life (though 2015, when she came out as transgender to her family, and 2016, when she went public ahead of the inauguration in a heartfelt Teen Vogue essay, were big as well). But, given her plans for the future, it’s also fair to say that Juliet Evancho before the TLC special airs and the spotlight intensifies even farther is more levelheaded and confident than most of her peers.

But then a string of personal victories will help give your life perspective. For starters, Juliet and her two co-defendants won the aforementioned lawsuit against suburban Pittsburgh’s Pine-Richland school system, in what’s been called a major blow against controversial bathroom bills nationwide. The lawsuit never even went to court: the school board instead chose to settle, voting 6-2 to strike down the ban it put in place in October of 2016 and paying $20,000 to each of the three plaintiffs, plus $75,000 in accrued legal fees.

In praising their victory, Juliet was characteristically humble: “It was a big step for the whole trans community, when it comes to bathroom bills being passed everywhere. I hope this opens people’s eyes to the fact us trans people are still people, and we are not doing anything other than using the bathroom and leaving the bathroom.”

Those comments echoed something that Juliet said to Billboard a few weeks before the school system offered to settle. “Being transgender,” she explained, “doesn’t mean that you’re a monster who hurts children in the bathroom. It just means that you’re being you–and taking steps to be yourself….The whole reason there are issues is because people don’t understand who we are and how we think. Really, we just think normally, like everyday people.”

Furthermore, Juliet told Starcasm that one of her plans for the break year she’s taking following her recent high school graduation is “working with Lambda Legal,” the civil rights organization who handled the Pine-Richard lawsuit. It’s one part of her broader overall plan to continue “advocating for LGBTQ rights.”

As for the TLC special itself, Juliet recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that “[Being around camera crews] was challenging, but we got used to it.” And, as soon as filming wrapped, the Evancho family made a beeline for the beach:

And Juliet’s relationship with her father, Mike–who had the most difficulty adapting to his son Jacob announcing that he was now Mike’s daughter Juliet–is the strongest it’s been since Juliet came out to her family. She told the Post-Gazette “I think I can finally say he views me as his daughter, and not as a disappointment.”

Happy Father's Day to the best dad ever! I love you Dad #fathersday #love

A post shared by Juliet Evancho (@jmeevancho_) on

One other element bringing stability and joy to Juliet’s life is her boyfriend Deven Grossinsky. The two have been together through the roughest parts of the past year; Deven was by Juliet’s side after she was chosen to be on the homecoming court during her senior year of high school, and stood by her throughout the lawsuit. “He can definitely be a sweetheart,” Juliet said. “It’s been nice; he gets along well with my siblings and he’s kind of a role model for my brother. Because Zach has said, quite often, that it [stinks] he lost his big brother when I transitioned.”

Couple Time! Sharing Vaca with family and our boyfriends was great! An awesome way to relax. #modeling #lovethebeach

A post shared by Juliet Evancho (@jmeevancho_) on

Growing Up Evancho” airs Wednesday, August 10th at 10 PM on TLC.

(Photo credits: Juliet Evancho before via Instagram)


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  • sunshine ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

    That father is still disappointed and likely horrified like any normal parent would be. The saddest part is that nobody is able to actually help these people because the medical community stands to make lots more money from feeding their delusions and performing mutilations, than it does from actually treating their mental illness and likely hormone issues. They can think they’re a pack of gum for all I care, but when they try and force me to play along with their sad delusions, then I have a problem.

    • Sweet Venom

      I think it’s sad that you’re a Trump supporter.

      • sunshine ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

        I think it’s amusing that you’d think I care what you think.

        • Sweet Venom

          Haha. I didn’t think you’d care even for one second. You’re a Trump lover, what you probably care about counts for very little.

          • sunshine ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

            According to whom? You? Please don’t flatter yourself by imagining that you and your kind are some type of moral gatekeepers, or decision makers or trend setters….or anything really. The Trump supporters (people with jobs in the real world that contribute to keeping society running) are the reason your kind can sit around sniveling and complaining and doing nothing. But maybe not for much longer, so enjoy your remaining time.

            • Sweet Venom

              Lmao. Why are you even bothering to reply if you don’t care what I think? Enlighten me as to what “mstarting September, and I was offered a mentorship. Not to mention, right out of Uni I’m making 30 dollars an hour and I y kind” looks or acts like, because, for your information, not that you “care” of course, haha, but I just graduated from University, I will be attending an undergraduate program only have to work five hours a day if I like. I’m at work right now, bitch. America, the land of the free and prosperous? Please. I don’t need to mention all of my credentials to know that I’m better than you. I’m judging you based on your ignorant comment. And I want to see you not give a damn about this comment, too. Make my day and reply.

              • sunshine ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

                You seem to be desperate to prove your worth to me by banging on about a bunch of crap that anyone with a double digit IQ could accomplish. Of course you just graduated college, you’re full of sad liberal brainwashing. That’s “your type”. A cookie cutter prog bot with no ability to think for themselves. I am sure you are deeply unhappy with yourself and your life. It is dripping off of every word you write. You may be able to delude yourself but not everyone else.

                Wow thirty whole dollars an hour? That totally makes you better than someone that makes twenty dollars an hour, but not as good as someone that makes forty dollars an hour! Is that how you judge your worth, and the worth of others? How deeply sad for you but it explains a lot. I feel sorry for you and your kind. You know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing. You are ruled by credentialism and the desire to make money so you can feel “better than” others. You have no thoughts of your own, probably no family and no prospects to ever have one, the best your kind gets is a quick sad pity f u c k during a “Netflix and chill” session with an effeminate millennial “man” who runs as fast as he can when it’s over, leaving you with your cats and your insecurities. But dry those tears on that pile of money, honey! Because you’re a success and you are strong and independent and don’t need no man (except maybe Ben and Jerry)!

                Oh yes, I’ve got your type all figured out. So go ahead and laugh all you want at me. When you stare into the abyss, it stares back into you, or maybe in this case it holds up a mirror.

                • Sweet Venom

                  Lol. That is funny, but terribly incorrect. I don’t think i’m better than you because of the money I make, I’m simply better because I’m not narrow-minded and full of BS. I mentioned my credentials because you already seemed to know what kind of person I was. I don’t actually have to prove anything to you because you’re just a stranger online, but if anyone seems unhappy, i’d guess it’s you. You seem very intent on insulting me somehow.

                  • sunshine ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

                    If you want to think you’re better, go for it. I’d be unhappy if I lived your life, which is why I don’t. You were exactly as I had envisioned you, a lame brainwashed striver grinding away in some depressing city at a soul crushing desk job after college, parroting inane drivel that nobody with an ounce of common sense or critical thinking ability, could believe. Even if you weren’t happy, you certainly wouldn’t be able to admit it after you’ve spent so much time, money and effort in obtaining this lifestyle you’re supposed to covet. And that just seems like the bleakest, most hideous thing imaginable.

                    The rest is just speculation but I’m pretty sure I’m right. And it’s only an insult of you are insulted by it. I’d be horrified and suicidal if that was my life but many people seem proud of that kind of lifestyle. Or at least, not ashamed. But whatever works for you, I guess.

                    • Sweet Venom

                      Okay. I read the first few lines of your conment and stopped. I don’t think you’re capable of altering your perception of me, or anything for that matter, perhaps that’s the Trump in you. I could prove you wrong just by telling you the truth about who I am and who I hope to one day be, but what would be the point? You are only trying to argue at this point, and there is no logic in that for me. Goodbye.

                    • sunshine ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

                      No no, don’t leave! Please make up more stories about how important you are and what amazing things you’ll do in the future! It’s a stormy day here and I’d love the entertainment!

                      I will also say that sitting at a desk pushing papers around and playing grown up with what is essentially busy work for adults, isn’t running anything. Society can get along just fine without that kind of thing. What we cannot get along without is mechanics, farmers, oil rig workers, truckers, electricians, plumbers, etc. They make your spoiled and unnatural life possible.

                      You cannot even finish reading a comment that doesn’t praise you and agree with your astoundingly inflated sense of self esteem. You certainly haven’t given me anything to work with that would paint you as anything other than what you have claimed to be, and what you appear to be.

                      You start the “bullying” by flatly stating you’re superior than me (based on nothing other than who I voted for and my political leanings) and calling names, and now you have the gall to claim to be a poor innocent victim of bullying? Come on. You cannot possibly be serious, can you?