Wayne Brady, host of the hit show “Let’s Make a Deal,” might be a father and have an ex-wife, and be 51 years old but he just told “PEOPLE” during an interview that he identifies as “pansexual.” Being “pansexual” means one is sexually, romantically, or emotionally attracted toward people of all genders.
Speaking to PEOPLE about his sexuality, Brady said that he decided he was pansexual after “doing [his] research” on the different sexualities and what they mean, saying that “pansexual” is the closest to his sexual urges.
He first explained why he doesn’t identify as bisexual, saying, “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.”
Continuing, he described how he landed on pansexuality, saying, “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.”
He then characterized it as being less limiting in terms of to whom he can be attracted, telling PEOPLE, “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.”
PEOPLE also described how his ex-wife and daughter reacted to his pronouncement. According to Brady, his ex-wife Mandie Taketa, 47, is the first person he told. Describing her reaction, Taketa said, “I just said, ‘Great.’ As I knew coming out would help him be happier.” His daughter, Maile, said she shrugged and “I just said, ‘Okay.’”
Brady added that he started his “path to self-discovery,” telling PEOPLE that it was with Williams’ passing that he started focusing on understanding himself. He said, “After Robin’s death, I got involved in certain groups, like Glenn Close’s group, Bring Change to Mind, being very vocal about mental health. And not just the buzzword of mental health, but really what do I have to do to function in this big world and still be okay with yourself and more importantly, to love yourself so that you don’t hurt yourself? Not even just physically hurting yourself, but not taking care of yourself because you are depressed and frightened and weighed down.“
He then described that process of one as learning about himself, saying, “Once I opened that door to myself though, I had to start learning about myself, and I had to start owning up to things that maybe I’d either repressed, suppressed, or just didn’t wanna deal with. I’ve done a lot of work on a lot of other things until now, one of the last things on that checklist was, what’s one of the last things that you need to be really happy and to be truly, authentically yourself? I gave joy at work. But the pity is then I come home, and I don’t have that joy. I have joy because I love my daughter and I love my family. I love being a dad more than chocolate ice cream. But that can’t be my only joy. I have to love myself. 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.”
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