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You may not recognize the name Jake Zyrus, but you definitely have heard him sing before. Up until fairly recently, the singer and Glee star was known by his birth name, Charice Pempengco. As Pempengco, he became famous after appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show and gaining a fan in mega-producer David Foster. This Sunday, after a year of silence on social media, he reemerged as Zyrus, and came out as trans.

After Zyrus came out as a lesbian in 2013 on a Philippine talk show, he admitted that the confession helped him feel 鈥渓ight.鈥

鈥淚 love myself, that鈥檚 why I鈥檓 able to do this,鈥 he said to host Boy Abunda. Then, in 2014 during an episode of聽Winfrey鈥檚聽Where Are They Now? Zyrus admitted there was more to him than just being a lesbian.

鈥淢y soul is male,鈥 he said. 鈥淚鈥檓 not going to go through that stage where I change everything,鈥 he admitted in the interview, adding that as a child, he knew as early as five that he was different. In 2016, as the cover model for Philippino queer magazine聽Mega Man, Pempengco was out as trans but it took another year before he reemerged as Zyrus.

Taking to his Twitter account, Zyrus presented his new name and gender expression earlier this week with an outpouring of gratitude, saying, 鈥淢y first tweet as Jake. Overwhelmed. Saw all your love comments and I鈥檓 so happy. Finally. I love you, everyone and see you soon.鈥

While we have yet to hear Zyrus鈥檚 new music, he promises to work as an advocate for LGBTQ+ issues in his home country, where sexuality and gender still have a way to go. 鈥淚 stand up for myself,鈥 he said, regarding the political climate in the Philippines, adding, 鈥渉ow I stand amid a lot of criticism without breaking down,鈥 is what he hopes to show others afraid of coming out.

Who is your favorite trans celebrity? Tell us @BritandCo!

(h/t People; photo via Mike Coppola/Getty)