Remember cute little golden voiced singer Charice Pempengco who was plucked from obscurity by Oprah Winfrey? Now 21, Charice came out as a lesbian on a Filipino talk show on Sunday.
Breaking down in tears during an interview on ABS-CBN TV, Charice apologized to her mother and brother in her native Filipino language for revealing her lesbian lifestyle in such a public forum.
Calling herself a "tomboy" she said, "I don't know what the problem with that is because for me, that isn't a problem." Charice added: "To all those who will accept me, thank you very, very much."
Charice said she was relieved that she could now "leave my house without hiding anything."
Born in the Philippines and raised by her single mother, Raquel, Charice appeared on television talent shows in the Philippines before being discovered on YouTube at age 15. The young prodigy went on to achieve worldwide stardom after performing on Oprah and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In 2010, Charice played an exchange student on the gay-themed TV show GLEE.
Her voice has been described as the most beautiful in the world.
Melvin Castro, an official with the Roman Catholic Church, said Charice was experiencing an identity crisis -- a pronouncement that didn't sit well with gay rights groups. Castro asked the Filipino public not to judge the singer as she works through her identity crisis.
"Let's hope that there will be people out there that will help guide her with her sexual orientation called same-sex attraction," Castro told the daily Manila Bulletin.
The Catholic Church is predominant in the Philippines, where homosexuality and gay marriage are rejected. But online comments have been mainly supportive of the singer who chopped off her long flowing locks in favor of a more boyish cut.
The presence of a supportive male father figure is crucial in the sexual development of children. Charice's case is typical of the growing numbers of children in single parent households who identify as homosexual. Even in 2-parent homes, children can grow up to be gay if the father is not always present physically or emotionally.
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