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From Charice Pempengco to Jake Zyrus: A Moving Transition
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of September 20, 2017) Her name was Charice Pempengco, and she became known internationally as a singer and an actor, playing Sunshine Corazon in the US TV series Glee. His name is Jake Zyrus, and he is a singer, too. In fact, both persons are identical – a transgender man whose transition has caused quite a stir.
In the following video, Charice sings her song Louder:
Charice wrote, sang and produced many of her own songs, such as the following title called Killing Myself to Sleep.
Aside from her changed look, we can also hear a significant change of her voice. This song is from December 2016, and Charice already called herself Jake at that point.
The following video compares the voices of Charice and Jake in the same songs, and the difference is quite noticeable:
Charice was born in the Philippines in 1992, so she is 25 years old now. Her home country is dominated by the Catholic church and strong intolerance, as always.
So her personal journey certainly was not an easy one. When she was 5 years old, she already felt like a boy – but what could she have done in such a conservative and religious environment?
As Charice felt like a man, she decided to build up a life as a lesbian woman. She thought she would be better recognized as a lesbian than as a transgender man in the Philippines.
Later however, she decided to end the lies and start her transition to become a man. After hormone treatments, she had her breasts removed (double mastectomy) and is now planning her last step, the sex-assignment surgery.
In Oprah Winfrey’s show, Charice made her transgender identity public in October 2014.
Shortly after Charice became Jake (the YouTube channel is still on the name of Charice), he is happy to have received little criticism only but much more encouragement and support.
However, there were some strong and insulting reactions: The Philippine version of Esquire published a very negative web article that they later withdrew, and Jake accepted their apologies in the end.
Unfortunately, there were very negative reactions in his personal environment. Currently, he has almost no contact with his family, and one of his grandmothers publicly disavowed her. Nevertheless, Jake hope the storm may calm down and his relationship with the family will get back to normal – eventually.
Frank-S / MensGo
Main source: USA Today, July 19, 2017.
Initial source: Lexpress.fr, September 7, 2017.