Jake Zyrus’ announcement that he had changed his name on June 20 has been met with mixed reactions from fans and critics in the Philippines.
While many expressed support for her coming out as a transgender, Zyrus has been the subject of cruel memes and insensitive jokes from local Facebook Fan pages. But despite her online bashers, Zyrus has kept his positive outlook.
“I’m used to the issues,” Zyrus told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview. “My life has been an open book. Much has been said about me, but I’m still here, standing — and I’m a very sensitive person. You can’t expect everyone to welcome you with open arms.”
The 25-year-old singer, who rose to international fame as Charice and was dubbed by Oprah as “the most talented girl in the world”, had recently disclosed that he had his both breasts removed and had begun testosterone treatment.
“I’m a man. But I was insecure about my breasts, my body. I wanted to act like a man, to sit like a man.”
He also revealed that he is now letting “Charice” go to give way for the person he has been all along.
“I just let her go,” Zyrus simply said. “She’s free.”
In a separate interview with Rappler, Zyrus admitted that he hasn’t spoken to his family since he came out as a trans man.
“This is just another challenge for us, as a family. I just hope that it was more private. But it’s out there. So I hope other people will understand that when it comes to families, sometimes you fight, sometimes you get along.”
While Zyrus did originally come out as a lesbian in 2013, he has revealed that he already knew then that it still wasn’t who he really wanted to be.
“I felt [before] that I’m going to come out as a lesbian because I felt at the time, I said only being gay or being lesbian was recognized. Even though, before, I explained that I was a man, [what people would tell me was], ‘No, you’re a lesbian.’ It’s as if it was the only thing there was before.”