Wayne Brady has come out as pansexual in an interview with People magazine. Yep, everybody’s favorite shortform musical improviser is attracted to people regardless of their sex or gender. Wayne kindly dumbs it down for People’s readers: “Bisexual — with an open mind!”
51-year-old Wayne says that he did a lot of research to find out who he was. He explains that he’d been attracted to “certain men” in his life, but he wasn’t sure if he was bi because he’d never “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. 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 tells People that Robin Williams’ death in 2014 “really impacted” him. After that, he got involved with mental health groups and spoke out about his own issues with depression. But once Wayne “opened that door”, he had to start “owning up to things” that he’d been repressing. Like why he wasn’t happy when he came home from work at night. Wayne says he loved his family and being a father, but he needed to learn to love himself:
And that’s when I realized that I had a problem because if I can spend everything on stage and on camera but then I come home and there is a love deficit, what is going on? That was my rock bottom.
I was never suicidal, but I have empathy for those who face those thoughts. I understand it now. I got to a point where I thought, “I’m not here, then whatever this pain is, whatever this loneliness is, this soul-crushing loneliness, I could stop it. I could be absolutely pain-free of whatever this is inside of me.” And when I felt that, I went, “Oh, s—t. Okay. let’s get to the bottom of it. Let’s do it now.”
Wayne dove headfirst into therapy, and, eventually, he was treated for love addiction. “I had to start examining why I was looking for myself and happiness in a slew of people.” Recently, Wayne had to ask himself if he was gay. He eventually came to the conclusion he wasn’t, but, in the past, he’d repressed his attraction to men because he was terrified:
What’s the fastest way to hurt another man? I’m gonna call you out of your name. I’m gonna call you gay. I’m gonna emasculate you. I’m gonna use the F-word. I learned that very early from the people around me, they’re like, “Oh, so those are bad things? Yeah. You, you don’t wanna be that.”
So, what does it mean if I feel something? I don’t think I’m gay, but what if I feel something for another [man]… That’s still gay. I was already bullied about a bunch of other s—t. I didn’t wanna add a top hat on top of that suit.
Wayne told himself that “the world can absolutely go without knowing that Wayne identifies as pan,”, but being in the closet gave him a lot of shame. And he wanted to be a vocal member of the LGBTQ+ community. Now that he’s out, Wayne is trying to be “the most Wayne Brady I can be.” And, in case all you horny little Brady-heads were wondering, YES, he’s single:
Not dating yet though! [Laughs] I am single, but it’s not about being with someone right now. I’ve got some work to do still. Then, Wayne as a single, open-minded pansexual can make a decision and be free and open to other people.
Wayne also took to TikTok to come out as pan:
Here’s what he wrote in the caption:
@waynebrady As someone who gets to bring joy to others daily on tv, it's been ironic that I don't experience it as much as I'd like. I advocate mental health for all and a part of that is self transparency. In doing my work, I've come to see a few truths, one of them being that I want to be free to love whomever I want. This truth makes me Pan and part of the lgbtq+ family. It's scary as hell to say out loud but here it is. The people I admire the most are the ones brave enough to be themselves unapologetically. This shouldn't shake anyone's world, but if it bothers you at all, that's your business:) I was so afraid of having my manhood questioned, but screw that. A "real man" in my eyes, isn't afraid to be honest and happy. From now on, I'll be over here living my best life! I love you @Mandietaketa @Maile Masako @Jason ♬ original sound - Shannon
As someone who gets to bring joy to others daily on tv, it’s been ironic that I don’t experience it as much as I’d like. I advocate mental health for all and a part of that is self transparency. In doing my work, I’ve come to see a few truths, one of them being that I want to be free to love whomever I want. This truth makes me Pan and part of the lgbtq+ family.
It’s scary as hell to say out loud but here it is. The people I admire the most are the ones brave enough to be themselves unapologetically. This shouldn’t shake anyone’s world, but if it bothers you at all, that’s your business :) I was so afraid of having my manhood questioned, but screw that. A “real man”; in my eyes, isn’t afraid to be honest and happy. From now on, I’ll be over here living my best life!
Wayne ended his post by tagging his 20-year-old daughter, Maile, his ex-wife Mandie Taketa, and her partner Jason Fordham. Jason and Mandie had a baby together in 2021, and Wayne is considered a co-parent. The whole gang is currently filming a reality show about their blended family, set to premiere on Hulu next year. Which begs the question: are the Brady-Taketa-Fordhams the new Kardashians? Psh, of course not! Wayne actually has talent!