On a television interview on Sunday, singer Charice came out in her homeland of the Philippines. The former Glee star was asked about the rumors of her sexuality on ABS-CBN's The Buzz, and told host Boy Abunda in Tagalog, "Opo, tomboy po ako," meaning "Yes, I am a lesbian."
Charice Pempengco is best known in the U.S. for her portrayal of Sunshine Corazon throughout the second season of Glee, but in Asia she is a musical pop star, first discovered in 2007 on a South Korean talent show. Since then, she has shed her long locks in favor of a shorter, more androgynous hairstyle.
After confirming that she's a lesbian, the singer was clearly emotional but relieved — at one point shedding tears. "Now I feel free," she said. "I can go out of the house without fear and be certain that I'm not stepping on anybody's toes."
The Philippine Star reports that the 21-year-old is now estranged from her mother and grandmother, and hopes that one day their differences can be reconciled.
Charice thanked her fans for supporting in a video posted Saturday, saying she is "very, very happy."
However, in her TV interview, she also asked forgiveness from her fans who were not able to support her after she came out. LGBT support and tolerance in the Philippines is slowly evolving, although there are currently no civil rights laws for LGBT citizens.
Watch Charice's coming out moment below, and watch the whole interview on the following page.
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Watch Charice's full interview with The Buzz's Boy Abunda below.