Charice Proves to Be the Bigger Person
Some people hate Celine Dion, not Charice, of course. She basically grew up drawing pictures of herself alongside idol Celine Dion and started crooning songs at the age of 4, when her mom wasn’t home. When she was invited to Oprah in 2008, she got the chance to perform My Heart Will Go On, at the satellite view of Celine who invited her to perform Because You Loved Me for her mother in Madison Square Garden.
A number of albums and awards, as well as a much talked about botox treatment [1, don’t ever do it again, Charice] in honor of her guest-starring on everyone’s then-favorite gay show Glee later, Charice had kept a relative low profile until photos of herself sporting a tomboy look surfaced. It didn’t take long for Charice to open up, in a rather low-key interview in her native Philippines [transcript in English], when the interviewer asked her straight up if she was a lesbian.
What struck me the most about her “coming out” weren’t her actual words to say “yes, I am.”  — the most amazing thing was this part:
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.
After that, it doesn’t matter if there are people online spreading their newly found hatred for Charice, because… well, she understands you.
I saw that interview on Filipino TV. Interesting to see that interviewer/host Boy Abunda appears in this post as well as in the credits for the “Sirena” video posted before this.
@Diandra Rodriguez, yeah. there’s been a lot of coincidences like that xD what I didn’t understand about this situation is that some people are translating her ‘coming out’ as ‘lesbian’ and some others as ‘tomboy’ – what’s the tomboy connotation in the Philippines?
@amy, the connotation in the Philippines is that “tomboy” is the common term for “lesbian” as “bakla” is for gay man. I don’t know the history that much, but I think while bakla goes to pre-Hispanic conquest times, there’s not a similar word for lesbians until the English term was adopted. Many Filipinos think that all bakla want to be female and all tomboys want to be male, and so refer to bakla as she and tomboys as he, and this is often encouraged by more flamboyant feminine bakla entertainers. This can go on despite what the individual prefers. “Oh, don’t you want to be a ~he~?” Then again, when using the English terms he/she/hers/his, Filipinos often interchange the terms for everyone regardless of orientation. After a while, you might notice an intonation difference when such usage is done with purpose. I’m not sure what the Tagalog/Pilipino word equivalents are.
@Diandra Rodriguez, I’ve noticed in general that it’s easier to Asians to understand that concept of “his mind doesn’t match his body” thing of transgenders. I was a little surprised to find Charice and her ‘tomboi’ photos, since it wasn’t something that ever ‘ping’ for people, I think.
I hope she continues singing the type of music she grew up loving, and doesn’t change just because those who loved her before wouldn’t understand who she is now, and those who like who she is now would suddenly expect her to change into some rule-breaking attitude-filled rocker or something.
I’m seeing a duet with k.d. lang now… gimme some Hallelujah!