Glee was filled with its fair share of vocal talents, most of ’em being series regulars, like Lea Michele, Darren Criss and Amber P. Riley. But one of the dramedy’s most talented performers was actually a guest star; a person who Oprah Winfrey once dubbed “the most talented girl in the world.” You knew this person as Charice Pempengco.
Starting in 2010, the now-25-year-old singer started appearing on the Fox show as Sunshine Corazon, a powerhouse crooner with pipes that rivaled leading lady Rachel Berry’s (a.k.a. Lea Michele’s). And the musician proved to be such a success off screen as well, becoming the first Asian solo singer in HISTORY to land a Top 10 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the 2010 release of Charice, which debuted at #8.
Little did everyone know that throughout those particular years, the star was harboring a secret; one that was first revealed in 2014: the talent’s soul is male. Fortunately, fans seemed supportive of the announcement — they maintained that support through the Glee alum’s breakup with longtime girlfriend Alyssa Quijano earlier this year.
So, it is our hope that fans keep up that support after the celebrity’s latest update: you’ll never hear of Charice Pempengco again — the singer changed his name to Jake Zyrus.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the love and respect,” Jake posted, along with the Instagram above. “I love you back and I’m sending peace to everyone.”
He also tweeted:
My first tweet as Jake. Overwhelmed. Saw all your love comments and I'm so happy. Finally. I love you, everyone and see you soon.
— Jake Zyrus (@jakezyrus) June 20, 2017
Another great Pride Month moment, huh?
Celebrities are helping break down LGBTQ+ boundaries simply by speaking up. Here are six YouTubers who came out as transgender in 2016:
This YouTube star announced he identifies as gender fluid, which is part of the transgender community, back in February.
"Like most teenagers, I'm still figuring it out," Brendan said at HRC's Time to Thrive conference. "I'm starting to identify as one, or as part, of the trans community. I can't really label it, because, you know, some days, my more feminine side comes out — the 'she.' Some other days I don't feel like putting on my fabulous mask, and the 'he' comes out, and I'm totally okay with that. And I don't know who I am, or where I will be going in the future, who I will be 10 years from now but I'm still a teenager. I just like the limitless feeling of it, and I'm perfectly fine with who I am now. I just identify with both genders, so I go by the pronouns he or she and it's just what I'm happy with."
Jamie Ryan Dee
Jamie Ryan Dee was super active on YouTube from 2013 to 2014, but suddenly disappeared from the video site about two years ago. The 21-year-old shocked the world by returning to the site with a video titled, 'Coming Back and Coming Out As Transgender,' last month.
"I finally know who I am and I've came to terms with who I am, as well; I am transgender. I always have been," the Brit said. "I've been carrying this weight around for so long because I didn't want to accept it and I didn't want to be transgender. I've always known that I should've been born a female."
JRD recently started hormone replacement therapy to start the process of transitioning.
To celebrate his 9-year anniversary of making his first YouTube video, Jeydon Wale came clean about a huge secret — he is transgender.
"Hi, my name is Jeydon Wale and I am female to male transgender — holy s*it," he emotionally stated. "I have always been a boy, [but] my body said otherwise at birth. "I've waited for this for like 10 years, since before YouTube. This is something I know that I've wanted and it's been the craziest journey to get here, but I’m finally here; it's finally happening."
YouTube comedian Jordan Raskopoulos was known for her facial hair, so when she shaved off her beard in February 2015, fans wondered what was going on.
"Some of you want to know why I got rid of it and have been asking when it will be coming back… Well, the truth of the matter is, there's a very good reason why I got rid of my beard and a very, very good reason why it is never coming back — and that reason is that I am transgender," she explained in a February 2016 video.
The woman started transitioning in March 2015 and has been "so much happier" ever since.
While Sam knows he's not the biggest YouTuber around, he wanted to share his story to keep the lines of communication between him and subscribers completely open and honest. He explained:
"I'm transgender. I am FTM transgender, which means female to male, which means I used to live as a female," he shared over the summer. "Ages one to eight I just knew that I was very different. I knew that I didn’t like girly things…anything you can think of that's female, I just didn't like. It was kind of a blur to me. Ages eight to 12, it started to get a little worse. I started to feel a little weird and different from everybody. I just looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. I looked in the mirror and that wasn’t me; that isn't who I am. I really felt that I was a boy. In my head I was like, 'Am I f*cked up? Am I messed up? Why do I feel this way? Why can't I just be normal? Why did this happen to me? Why do I feel like this?' I felt trapped. I felt like I was trapped in my body."
Getting his hair cut when he was 16 was "the best feeling in the world" and luckily it "just got better from there." Sam has been taking testosterone for about three years now and is the happiest he's ever been.
Claire went viral on YouTube back in 2010 when her "Gingers Do Have Souls" video blew the eff up. The YouTube sensation didn't post a vid in quite a few months, sparking questions about what was going on in her personal life.
"I've been off YouTube for 5 months due to me going through HRT [Hormone Replacement Therapy]," she wrote on Twitter in August. "Bla bla bla I'm trans, get over it. I'm done pretending."
But while she seemed pretty passive in the tweet, she was much more emotional in her coming-out video.
"One reason I never came out before, especially on the Internet, is because I felt like a monster and I felt like if I exposed my weak spot everyone would attack me on that. I'm not going to live another year of my life pretending to me someone else. I'm just not going to do it."