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Wayne Brady reveals he is pansexual

Wayne Brady has revealed he is pansexual, meaning he can have sexual, romantic or emotional attractions to someone regardless of their gender. In an interview with People magazine, the comedian and actor described it as "bisexual — with an open mind."

Who is Wayne Brady?

The 51-year-old is known for the sketch comedy show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" and is host of CBS' "Let's Make A Deal." He also hosted his own talk show, "The Wayne Brady Show," in the early 2000s. 

Brady told People the first person he opened up to about his pansexuality was his ex-wife, Mandie Taketa. 

"I just said, 'Great.' As I knew coming out would help him be happier," Taketa told People. Brady and Taketa, 47, share a 20-year-old daughter named Maile. 

Brady said for him, "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," he said. "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."

2022 American Music Awards - Arrivals
Wayne Brady attends the 2022 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images

During the interview, Brady said he is in therapy, and that after Robin Williams' death in 2014, he started being vocal about mental health. 

He said he "did all the therapy" he could and was treated for love addiction, saying he had been looking for happiness in a "slew of other people."  

Brady said he asked himself if he was gay, but said the answer is no. He said he had been attracted to men, but pushed those feelings aside because of how he was raised, and the fear of how his sexuality would be received. 

"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. I've always had that community, but I've always felt like a sham because I wasn't being forthcoming with myself," he said. 

At first, Brady thought no one needed to know he was 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," he said.

Now, Brady says he is "a single, open-minded pansexual" who can "be free and open to other people."

On Instagram, the comedian shared a comical video of himself lip-syncing to Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now." In the caption, he talked more about the revelation in the People interview. 

"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," he writes. "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."

What does pansexual mean?

Pansexual people may "form enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions to any person, regardless of gender identity," according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD.  This is one of several terms under the bi+ umbrella, the organization says.

What is the difference between pansexuality and bisexuality? 

Bisexual describes "a person who has the potential to be physically, romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, in the same way, or to the same degree," according to GLAAD. Bisexual people may be attracted to someone that is the same gender as themselves or a different gender as themselves. 

Pansexuality is one of many sexual orientations under the bi+ umbrella, according to GLAAD. This includes people who may describe themselves as "bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, ominisexual, fluid or queer," according to GLAAD. 

People who are bi+ have the "potential to be attracted to more than one gender."

Gender and sexuality are not the same. Sexual orientations such as gay, heterosexual and pansexual, describe who we are attracted to. Gender is a personal identity separate from sex or sexuality.

Sex is usually assigned at birth, based on the appearance of anatomy. While babies are either assigned male or female at birth, there are many other gender identities aside from man and woman. 

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