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Family tragedy motivated Charice to 'come out' as gay

Filipino singer Charice moved on from the pain and frustration over her father's death by finally 'coming out' as a lesbian.

The former Glee star's estranged father, Ricky Pempengco, was stabbed to death in their hometown of Cabuyao City in the Philippines in 2011. Charice had a strained relationship with him after he verbally and physically threatened her mother, who left him to raise her daughter on her own.

During an interview with Oprah Winfrey on her Where Are They Now special on Sunday (19Oct14), Charice revealed she was in a bad place in her life just before she lost her father, explaining, "Before I came out, I was already a mess... when I was performing, it felt like it was a character I was portraying for my mum and for my family to be happy. When my father got murdered, that's when everything fell apart and I got even more depressed."

Charice admitted the tragedy later spurred her on to go public with her sexuality, adding, "Losing my dad, knowing I didn't have any closure - when I went to the funeral, I saw him right there (in the casket) and regretted everything that I wish I could have (said to him). I hadn't talked to him in about 15 or 17 years.

"I took all those feelings and all the pain in me and it made me stronger, telling myself that it's time to stand up and go out there to tell the truth."

Shortly before 'coming out' as a lesbian last year (13), Charice, 22, admits she was preparing for the worst: "That night when I was thinking about 'coming out', I was ready to lose my career and lose my fans. I was confident I wouldn't lose my family because I knew eventually they would understand me.

"At first my mum was angry at me for 'coming out'. Everything is great now. We're best friends. I couldn't ask for more."

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