Wayne Brady and His Journey to Coming Out as Pansexual

Television personality, comedian, actor and singer Wayne Brady came out as pansexual in an exclusive interview with People.

“I’m pansexual” Brady told 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. 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 Brady, five time Emmy-award winner and longtime host of the hit gameshow revival of Let’s Make A Deal, has been a constant presence on our screens since the 90s. He first found success with the improvisational comedy show Whose Line is it Anyway? in 1998, a show on which he still regularly appears. He was the host of his own daytime talk/ variety show – The Wayne Brady Show from 2001-2004, and was the original host of Don’t Forget the Lyrics! He also made countless appearances as a guest star of television shows like How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, The Good Fight, Mixed-ish, RuPaul’s Drag Race and several others. As a Grammy nominated singer, he has appeared in stage productions of Rent, Hamilton, and Kiss Me Kate. He starred as Billy Flynn in Chicago on Broadway and did a run as Lola in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots.

Wayne Brady hosting Let’s Make A Deal (Photo Credit: CBS/Paramount)

In the feature with People Brady says that the sudden and tragic death of Robin Williams made him face his own depression, eventually getting himself into therapy and uncovering a love addiction. “I did all the therapy I could do” Brady explained. “I was treated for love addiction. It’s a part of my journey. I had to start examining why I was looking for myself and happiness in a slew of people. If I marry this person, then everything will be fine. If I date this person, everything will be fine. I’ll be good. I’ll be fixed. That is obviously a problem. And so, in doing that work, I now know absolutely that love addiction is borne of trauma. I can’t feel any shame around that, just like I wouldn’t shame somebody if they said they were addicted to meth or cocaine. That’s a sickness.”

As to whether or not Brady has slept with men, the answer is unclear. He does explain that he has been attracted to men many times throughout his life but has never dated one because of how he was raised and fears over being ridiculed. Through his work in therapy he has processed the fear and shame around it and that is why he is coming out. “I’ve told myself in the past, 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.”

With regards to serious dating, Brady explains that his priorities are to continue working on his mental health, being the best father he can be to his 20 year old daughter Maile and a loyal friend to his ex-wife Mandie, both who have been very supportive of his coming out. However, now that he does not have the burden of secrecy weighing him down, he is free to pursue whatever type of romantic relationship he wants with whatever partner he chooses; and that freedom and peace of mind is surely priceless.

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