International Filipino Singing Sensation CHARICE is
Out of the
Closet as a Lesbian!
There are many ways that each one of us in our own way can spread the word. It starts with “coming out” and not being afraid to say, “This is me, it is who I am”. Our family and
friends mean the world to us and sometimes are our world.
When we’re in the closet, those relationships can seem so fragile, especially when we’re not sure what their reaction will be to our sexual identity. The fear of rejection is very real. No one wants to lose loved ones; so coming out of the closet may not seem worth the risk. Oftentimes, we focus so much on what we may lose by coming out that we forget about what we may gain: openness and freedom to finally express ourselves openly. Many out gay men can attest that coming out was worth the risk.
Charice, the former “Glee” star and international pop singing sensation, finally came out to fans during an emotional television interview with Mr. Boy Abunda of “The Buzz” in the Philippines. When asked about her sexuality, the 21-year-old pop singer confessed, “Opo, tomboy po ako”- which translates from Filipino as “Yes, I’m a lesbian.” Charice broke down to tears after the admission.
Charice voiced out, “Now, I feel free. I can go out of the house without fear, and be certain that I’m not stepping on anybody’s toes.” Through the tears, she added, “To those who can accept me, thank you very much. We are all equal, whether you are gay or straight.” The revelation came after the speculation surrounding Charice’s sexual orientation, swirled in the local press in recent weeks, following her decision to shed her teen starlet look, cutting her once long locks in favor of short, dyed hair. Despite facing this sort of speculation for years as a result of her increasingly more tomboy-ish style and looks, Charice had remained silent on the matter until recently.
Charice was originally discovered on YouTube by Ellen De Generes who asked her to perform in 2007. Since then, she has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has performed alongside with Celine Dion and Andrea Boccelli. Following her decision to come out, she thanked her supportive fans in a video that shows her relief. “Honestly, I’m very, very happy,” she said. I can’t explain how happy I am right now hearing all these positive things.” In the case of Charice, perhaps most notably of all, she told Boy Abunda on “The Buzz” that she was estranged from her mother.
For those who may not understand her, she is empathetic. Charice said, “I have deep gratitude for the Filipinos because they are the ones who know who I really am. I don’t know what the problem is because for me, there is no problem with that. So, now I ask for forgiveness from those who don’t understand. And those who cannot accept, I apologize. I understand you.”
She added, “I just want to say to all of you that I feel very light -- that I can leave the house knowing I am not hiding anything. I love myself, that’s why I’m able to do this. During her interview with Boy, she mentioned, “Always be true to yourself.” “I don’t regret how I used to dress and fix my hair. I always think that the past was a challenge I needed to go through. And I’m not pushing anyone to come out of the closet. I didn’t do what I did in order to say, “Hey follow me.”
I hope what I did serves as an inspiration, but I understand if they don’t want to follow in my footsteps. I understand, it’s part of the situation. You don’t want to hide forever, but you will feel when it’s the right time.” Charice also shared that there are also other people who inspired her to make a revelation of her true identity.
“What really pushed me was thinking to myself, Ok, I’ll do it. See, even before I came out on TV, I’d go to the mall looking like I do, Alyssa Quijano (Charice’s rumored girlfriend) and I would go out. What pushed me was I saw that people didn’t react. It was normal to them. When they’d see me, they’d see me as Charice. Of course, I heard other things, you can’t avoid that. But most of the people just went, “Si Charice, o (That’s Charice). What’s most important to me is the reaction of Filipinos. Ever since I started showbiz here in the Philippines, there were a lot of naysayers. Sadly, most of them were Filipinos. What I did here is risky, because either Filipinos love you or they don’t accept you. So, it’s a big achievement for me that now, Filipinos are telling me, “we respect you”. I hope someday, sexual preference will no longer be a big deal. Like when you see people, you won’t need to ask them. You won’t need a confirmation, you know? Whatever you see is what it is, and people are equal, basically. That’s what I want for everyone. I know time will happen. The time will come.”
Charice is also grateful that she’s getting a lot of support from her fans, “My fans are still here, or they’ve increased, and I’m very thankful that this has been the result.
Thank you for the support.” She also shared that she still has a month to spend in the Philippines and will be working on her third album.
Charice released two albums, which were great hits and it’s been a while. She’s gearing to come up with a compilation of all her favorite songs with her own rendition. And then, she will go back to Los Angeles, where she will be recording. It’s going to be a busy year for her. When asked like how she would want to be remembered by her fans, Charice uttered, “I just want to be remembered as Charice, the Singer”. “Coming out of the closet” can seem quite scary, but most people are extremely happy and feel empowered once they have gone through it.
I have met Charice and secured an interview with her in 2008, and I commend her and wish her the best of luck for stepping out of the closet. Coming out of the closet is a BIG step, because until you yourself believe, there is nothing wrong with these feelings, it will be hard to convince others of that as well.
My best advice for those who are still hiding, go with your gut. That’s it. Anytime you are wrenching, worrying, fearing, vacillating or just plain concerned about stepping on a limb, look inside. The moment you go inside and align with your core values, and beliefs of who you have always been, the sooner you will step out of the closet empowered to truly be who you have always been.
Before I end my article this month, my special birthday wishes to Thandi Apoderado (June 1), Arabel Alva Rosales (June 1), Ryan Alvarez (June 6), Tita Cora Sanchez (June
7), Andre Gabriel Zamora (June 14), Veronica Reyes (June 14), Paul Ruffin (June 15), Jon Cotay (June 16), Jersey Drew Pantuhan (June 24), Teri Cruz (June 24), Chip Payos (June
24) and to my loving Mom Connie Calma (June 10). Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads special mention to Tatay Ed Angeles, Nongni Joe Mauricio, Kuya Nick Alzol, Kuya Butch Zamora, and to my loving Daddy’o- Daddy Ricky Calma.
June is also my birthday month and I would like to extend my T-Rex size thanks to my loving family and friends who unselfishly shared their love with me and celebrate my special day even I’m away. I appreciate the post-birthday celebration that’s being prepared in my honor.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone as we salute and recognize our distinguished awardees for the 19th Annual Chicago Filipino American Hall of Fame on
Saturday, November 23rd to be held at the Westin O’Hare. Please call CPRTV/Via Times office at 773-866-0811 for more information. To all Via Times Readers and CPRTV viewers, thank you for your continued support.
Please continue to share your blessed Sunday with us at your favorite TV Show, The Chicago Philippine Reports TV (CPRTV), can now be viewed on Chicago Cable 25, every Sunday from 3:00-4:00 PM on Comcast, RCN and Wow Cable Channels.
Good news from CPRTV...We are now being re-broadcast on weekdays with the following schedules: Tuesday (11AM); Wednesday-Thursday (10AM); Friday (8:30AM) and Saturday (1PM).
. Until the next issue of Wassup?! God Bless Us All!