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Jake Zyrus Talks Mental Health, Coming Out, And Transitioning

The interview with Toni Gonzaga was done in celebration of Pride Month.
PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/TONITALKS_
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*Trigger warning: self-harm, suicide*

In celebration of Pride Month, Toni Gonzaga sat down for a tell-all interview withJake Zyrus who opened up about his personal struggles as he came out and transitioned.

"Probably a lot of people won't believe me but I was five years old when I realized na I was really confused," Jake began.

He recalled a time in Grade 1 when he was being teased with a male classmate. Jake said, "The one thing on my mind was, 'Bakit, e pareho kami?' At five years old, that was my thought. And I remember my first crush in Grade 1 was a girl, so I remember at the time, sabi ko na parang, 'Huh, I don't understand?'"

Jake also talked about playing games with his brother and he would be his bodyguard and said that at such a young age, he already knew that something was weird. "I would look in the mirror and say, 'Why am I feeling this way?' I'm seeing someone different," he told Toni.

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The singer talked about how daily life was a struggle as he grew up. "From the beginning na na-discover and way before Little Big Star, it was always there," Jake said. He outlined the pain and the struggle before coming out and the time he hit rock bottom. 

Talking about his mental health, Jake confessed, "I tried to kill myself three times, and I remember the last time that I wanted to kill myself because nasa isip ko 'pag nag come out ako, it's over, nasa isip ko at the time was other people."

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He continued, "The fear of acceptance, I didn't want to disappoint David Foster, Oprah, my mother, the pressure of you fitting in as well. I remember standing in front of the mirror with all these people around me showing me photos of Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato and telling me that 'Oh, be like this,' or 'You're gonna do this.' Fitting in, it was hard."

Jake talked about the first two times he tried to end his life. He remembers waking up in the hospital being upset and questioning God as to "Why?"

He shared, "The third time, and I'm telling you when you feel that you want to kill yourself. It's scary because you can't feel the pain at all because your mind and heart are decided. It's not something you want to be in. I'm saying this now because I've experienced it three times and I want to be able to share it with other people who might be going through something similar. It's a bad place to be." 

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Jake recalled being in a hospital in Singapore and woke up to David Foster asking him if he was okay as they were set to do a show that evening. He remembers a small gesture from David who told him, "Tonight, you don't have to wear a dress." Jake said, "That was the first time that they let me wear something like that and that was a big thing for me. And I remember being comfortable."

Jake said that every day is still a battle for him. "I definitely understand that some people have different beliefs or opinions, but sa akin, if you don't understand me, just be kind to me. I think that's the most important thing not just for the LGBTQ+ community, but for everything."

Jake first came out in 2013 but said that it was very complicated as people did not understand what transgender and transitioning meant. "I came out as a lesbian because naisip ko na ito 'yung maiintindihan ng mga tao. I felt like I wasn't just betraying myself but people as well for not telling them the truth."

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Jake called his transition process "very easy." He told Toni, "The only hard part sa transitioning is kung ano yung sasabihin ng mga tao, but the process itself was very easy. I remember I had my top surgery and I looked down and I remember being happy and it was one of the best days of my life."

Jake also said, "Everything is possible now. I'm just really happy that I get to experience being the first on Ellen and Oprah and it will be forever in my heart and that will always be me whether Jake or Charice."

Watch Jake's full interview here:

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