Cousins! Multi-hyphenated talent Wayne Brady is officially speaking his truth as he reveals to the world that he identifies as a Pansexual male!
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the 51 year old expresses that he is a lover of all people.
“In doing my research, both with myself and just with the world, I couldn’t say if I was bisexual, because I had to really see what that was, especially because I really have not gotten a chance to act on anything. So, I came to pansexual because — and I know that I’m completely messing up the dictionary meaning — but to me, pan means being able to be attracted to anyone who identifies as gay, straight, bi, transsexual, or non-binary.”
He adds, “ Being able to be attracted across the board. And, I think, at least for me for right now, that is the proper place.”
“I took pan to mean that not only can I be attracted to any of these people or types physically, but I could be attracted to the person that is there.”
Wayne says that his ex wife Mandie Taketa, was the first person he came out to.
“I just said, ‘Great.’ As I knew coming out would help him be happier,” she says.
The 47 year recalled that her response yo Wayne’s news was warm. “I just said, ‘Okay’.”
The former couple share a 20 year old daughter together named Maile.
According to SUN, Wayne was first married to Diana Lasso from December 1993 to September 1995. In the late 90s, he then married Mandie Taketa. The couple were together from April 1999 to July 2007. Since then the legendary TV host has not been publicly linked to men or anyone else romantically.
Wayne says that one of the gifts and curses of fame for him personally is people thinking they know him as a person because he’s in the public eye.
“Like with any blessing, I’m like, “How cool.” It’s cool that people like me, especially doing a show, like Let’s Make a Deal, or when various companies or networks think, “I want Wayne Brady to host this,” what a blessing! What a blessing to be in people’s homes every day and connect with them. I love that piece of it. But there are days that I’m not a fan of it. Because, really, I’m an actor. I don’t want to lead personality-first.”
He says, “There’s a reason why I live in a canyon in Malibu and not in the middle of Hollywood. I’m an introvert. Shy. I always have been. I had a very thick stutter at one point during my childhood, growing up in Orlando, brought on by anxiety and bullying, and stress. I couldn’t communicate the way that I wanted to until I started acting, singing, and performing.”
Further in the conversation, Wayne says that has dealt with the shame of being in the closet. He says that he’s always had his tribe of people to express himself to but didn’t feel like he was being his true authentic self.
“A shame cake, just eating it every single day — and then worried about… people finding out. I’ve always had a wonderful community of friends who are in the LGBTQ+ community, people that I’ve grown up with in shows, gays and lesbians, and, later in life, my trans relatives and my niece,” says Wayne.
“I’ve always had that community, but I’ve always felt like a sham because I wasn’t being forthcoming with myself. I could speak out about Black issues because I can’t hide that. And you can play at being an ally, but until the day that you can truly say, “This is who I am, and I wanna stand next to you,” that’s not… I always wanted that day to come.
“I’ve told myself in the past, also, nobody needs to know my personal business. The world can absolutely go without knowing that Wayne identifies as pan. But that gave me license to still live in the shadows and to be secretive. What does that feel like to actually not be shameful, to not feel like, “Oh, I can’t be part of this conversation because I’m lying?” I had to break that behavior.”
“I’m now trying to be the most Wayne Brady I can be. “