We know Charice today as a cross-dressed lesbian—short hair, tattoos all over her body, boy cut, and manly gestures, yet very few people know her real story and her struggles. Until today, people are still shocked with the transformation she has undergone from the sweet little girl who hit high notes flawlessly to a boyish R&B performer. In Oprah Winfrey’s show, Charice revealed how the death of her father affected her later decisions.
After more than a decade, Charice and her family revisited San Pablo Laguna, Philippines. Childhood memories came rushing and Charice, then a teenager, broke into tears as she remembered how her father battered her mother and the helplessness she felt that time.
She was three when her mother, together with her younger brother and her, left her husband. She wouldn’t see her father until his death.
It was 2011, when the news broke about her father’s death, the singer would have to confront once again the hurt she ran away from. Despite having no contact with him for many years, his untimely death would still have a powerful effect on her. It heightened her struggles with her sexuality and gender identity.
“When my father got murdered, that’s when everything fell apart,” she says. “I got even more depressed.”
It got even more difficult because of her estrangement from her mother (they have since reconciled). She had to go through her struggles alone. The grief became overwhelming and she got into the stage of depression.
“Losing my dad, knowing that we didn’t have any closure, when I went to the funeral, I just saw him right there and regretted everything,” she says through tears.
Eventually, she overcame her depression and mustered all the strength she needed to get going. It also served as a pivotal event for her to embrace her true self.
“I took all those feelings, I took all the pain… [It] made me stronger, to tell myself that it’s time to stand up and go out there,” she says.
And when Oprah asked her if somehow the event led her to her eventual choice regarding her sexuality, “Maybe I’m wrong, but correct me if I am,” Oprah says. “Your father’s death actually liberated you,” she became silent for a moment before she recalled the terrible feeling and broke into tears.
“That gave me chills,” she says, before getting emotional. “That feeling is just coming back right now. It was terrible… The feeling of after he died, feeling alone. I was alone.”