Charice Pempengco, the big voice that first hit the airwaves at age 15 on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” only to later star in the second season of “Glee” as Sunshine Corazon, revealed she is gay during a recent interview, E! News reports.
Upon sharing the news, the 21-year-old singer referred to herself as a “tomboy,” a Filipino term for lesbian. “I don’t know what’s the problem with that. Because for me, there isn’t a problem with that,” she said on ABS-CBN’s program "The Buzz."
Despite formerly starring in “Glee,” a musical dramedy that frequently features homosexual characters, Pempengco said revealing her sexual identity to her native Philippine family was difficult. After her public announcement to family and friends at a recent birthday celebration, she temporarily moved out of her family’s home, the Philippine Star reports.
“I left our home, because that’s what I had to do for now,” she said, admitting she dedicated a song to her mom, grandmothers and her brother, Carl, that contains the lyric “please understand me” in correlation with the release of the news. Despite her family struggles, Pempengco said sharing her sexuality with the world has made her feel “free.”
“I can go out of the house without fear and certain that I’m not stepping on anybody’s toe,” she said, after recently being spotted holding hands with an unidentified female.
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The singer released a video Saturday on "Showbiz Insider Report" asking fans to forgive her for previously hiding her true sexual identity, saying, “I’d like to ask for forgiveness to those who aren’t able to understand. ... I just want to say thank you personally to all my fans, to all the people who are still supporting me, who are still there for me,” she said, revealing she is very “happy.”
Pempengco previously made headlines after her father, 40-year-old Ricky Pempengco, was murdered in Laguna, Philippines, in 2011. The singer’s father was killed after reportedly bumping into a drunk man who stabbed him with an ice pick.