charice pempengcoAt 21 years old, most people are still in the process of figuring out who they are -- and (sometimes more importantly) who they're not. It's an often painful process, and it must be twice as challenging for celebs -- consider the massive meltdowns suffered by so many stars who came of age in the spotlight. So it's especially cool and inspiring that 21-year-old Glee star Charice Pempengco recently came out as a lesbian on national TV. During an interview on The Buzz, Filipino talk show host Boy Abunda asked her if she's a lesbian, and Pempengco answered in Tagalog (her native tongue): "Yes ... I am a lesbian."

"But to those who can accept me, thank you very much," she continued, her eyes filling with tears. "We are all equal, whether you are gay or straight ... I just want to say to all of you that I feel very light -- that I can leave the house knowing I am not hiding anything ... I love myself, that's why I'm able to do this."

I can't imagine how many people were -- and are -- touched by those words. Because Charice hit the nail on the head, of course: She loves herself, and that's why she's not afraid to be herself.

Charice continued to thank her loyal fans after the interview by posting a video:

"Honestly, I'm very, very happy. I can't explain how happy I am right now hearing all [these] positive things."

"I have deep gratitude for the Filipinos because they are the ones who know who I really am. ... I don't know what the problem is because for me, there is no problem with that. So now I ask for forgiveness from those who don't understand. And those who cannot accept. I apologize: I understand you."

Not only does Charice apparently know herself, she knows that it doesn't matter if everybody else accepts the person she is -- because she does, and that's enough.

Are you inspired by Charice Pempengco's speech?

 

Image via AnthonyChannelable/YouTube