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LET HER BE – In defense of Jake Zyrus

Shortly after the lesbian rumors about Charice Pempengo began to surface back in 2012, The Filipino Scribe  wrote that the public should stop from bullying the singer into disclosing her sexual orientation until such time that she is ready to do it.

A year after, she not only came out of the closet but also admitted her relationship with fellow entertainer Alyssa Quijano. Last week, the singer took it a step further by outing himself as a transgender and ditching “Charice” to reintroduce himself as “Jake Zyrus.”

Before going further, we must emphasize that Pempengco must now be referred to as a man because that is now how he sees himself. As elucidated by the United States-based advocacy group Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, transgenders must be addressed by the pronouns which they prefer.

Unfortunately, a quick look at the comments posted by readers in articles about Jake Zyrus’ sexual transition often carries this theme: “Sayang si Charice.” It is disgusting because what exactly went to waste?

Jake Zyrus name change

The singer previously known as Charice Pempengco has reintroduced himself as Jake Zyrus

After all, Jake Zyrus is still the same talented person that we first knew through “Little Big Star” circa 2005/2006. Talent has no gender, and disclosing his true gender identity does not make Jake Zyrus any less capable of hitting those stratospheric high notes just like before.

Now, many blame Jake Zyrus’ coming-out as a lesbian for the noticeable decline in his career trajectory in recent years. Is that really the case?

I guess the blame for this goes to those so-called fans who always bemoan how much they miss “the old Charice” instead of just continuing to support his music despite his personal choices.

And what’s with the insistence on interviewing her lola? The old lady obviously holds outdated views on homosexuality, just like many people of her age around the world. Is it right to highlight how Jake Zyrus is being rejected by some in his own family on national television?

POSTSCRIPT: Unfortunately for Jake Zyrus, he cannot change his name and sex as far as the Philippine government is concerned.

The Supreme Court dismissed such a petition in 2007 (Silverio vs Republic of the Philippines) because there is no law allows the changing of legal names unless if it is done merely to correct a typographical error or if the person’s current name is “ridiculous, tainted with dishonor, or extremely difficult to write or pronounce.”

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