Charice Pempengco, the Filipina pop star who played foreign exchange student Sunshine Corazon on "Glee," has come out as a lesbian.
"Yes, I am a tomboy," she told interviewer Boy Abunda on her native country's Sunday-afternoon talk show "The Buzz," using a local colloquialism for lesbian.
"I don't know what is the problem with that," she added in her native Filipino, in a subtitled clip from the show. "Because for me, I don't think there is a problem with that."
The newspaper The Philippine Star, reporting on the interview, said Charice, as she is popularly known, was addressing rumors that had started more than a year ago. "Now I feel free," the English-language paper quoted her. "I can go out of the house without fear and certain that I'm not stepping on anybody's toes."
The singer, 21 -- whom Oprah Winfrey in 2008 hyperbolically dubbed "the most talented girl in the world" -- said she was estranged from her mother, Raquel, and from her grandmother, who helped raise her, though it was unclear if this was a result of her sexuality.
"I left our home because that's what I had to do for now," she said. When Charice celebrated her birthday last month, the paper noted, neither woman attended.
According to a translation of the interview on E! Online, Charice asked "for forgiveness from those who don't understand. And those who cannot accept. I apologize: I understand you. But to those who can accept me, thank you very much."
Charice appeared in three episodes of "Glee" during its second season, in 2010-11. She first gained fame in the United States after her YouTube videos caught the attention of talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres.