Wayne Brady, renowned entertainer and television host, has revealed the inner conflict he experienced before publicly embracing his identity as pansexual. In an interview with People on August 7, the 51-year-old artist shared his journey of self-discovery and the challenges he faced in acknowledging his true self.
Throughout his life, Brady had a supportive circle of friends within the LGBTQ+ community, including those from his showbiz background and his own family. Despite this supportive network, he acknowledged feeling like an imposter due to his reluctance to openly discuss his sexual orientation. Reflecting on his past, Brady shared, “I’ve always had that community, but I’ve always felt like a sham because I wasn’t being forthcoming with myself.”
Brady found it relatively easier to speak out on issues related to race, being Black himself. However, revealing his sexual identity was a more complex journey for him. He recognized the difference between being an ally and fully embracing his own 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.
The artist acknowledged that he had previously justified keeping his identity hidden, convincing himself that his personal life was private and didn’t need to be disclosed to the world. This secrecy allowed him to live in the shadows and maintain a sense of secrecy. However, he eventually recognized the need to break free from this behavior and confront his truth.
The first person Brady came out to was his ex-wife Mandie Taketa, with whom he shares a daughter, Maile Masako. Both Taketa and Maile showed immense support and understanding when Brady shared his identity with them. Taketa expressed her support, stating, “I just said, ‘Great.’ As I knew coming out would help him be happier.” Maile reacted in a lighthearted manner, shrugging at the news while smiling.
Brady’s journey involved grappling with societal norms and the fear of being judged or misunderstood. He candidly revealed the pressures he faced and the derogatory language he had witnessed, which perpetuated a culture of negativity around certain identities. He admitted his fear of being labeled and the potential consequences of revealing his true feelings for other men.
Despite his initial apprehensions, Brady has embraced his identity and shed the weight of secrecy. He now feels a sense of freedom and openness, acknowledging that his journey is ongoing. He believes that being true to himself not only enriches his personal life but also enables him to excel in his various roles, from being a father to a performer. Brady’s decision to come out was a step toward self-acceptance, empowerment, and a more authentic life.
In his own words, Brady summed up his motivation: “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. 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.”