Wayne Brady confessed that not telling anyone he was pansexual made him feel conflicted over the years.
“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,” Brady, 51, said in an interview with People on Monday, August 7. “I’ve always had that community, but I’ve always felt like a sham because I wasn’t being forthcoming with myself.”
Brady went on to say it was easier for him to “speak out about Black issues” because he couldn’t hide that part of his identity. However, that wasn’t the case for his sexual identity
“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,” he confessed. “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Brady revealed that the first person he came out to was his ex-wife Mandie Taketa. Brady and Taketa, 47, were married from 1999 to 2008 and share daughter Maile Masako, 20. Brady’s wife and daughter were supportive of the Let’s Make a Deal host when he came out to them.
“I just said, ‘Great.’ As I knew coming out would help him be happier,” Taketa told the outlet. Maile, for her part, teased she just “shrugged” at her father’s news but was smiling at the same time.
While Brady admitted he hasn’t dated a man in the past, he confessed he has been attracted to men in the past but pushed those thoughts aside.
“I live in today’s world, and it’s scary as s–t. 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,” Brady recalled about his hesitancy to own his identity. “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.’”
He continued: “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.”
While Brady initially felt nervous about coming out, he’s turned over a new leaf and now feels he can be “free and open.”
“I’m still coming together. But If I’m healthy, then I can go onstage at Let’s Make A Deal and be the best Wayne Brady that everybody wants and expects,” he explained. “I can be the best dad that Maile needs. I can be the best friend to Mandie, the best son to my mother, and one day, the best partner to someone, because I’m doing this for me.”