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Wayne Brady says opening up about his pansexuality “goes part and parcel” with mental health: “I’m lighter”

Wayne Brady, host of the CBS game show “Let’s Make A Deal,” recently came out as pansexual, marking a turning point in his mental health journey.

Pansexuality, as defined by the advocacy group GLAAD, involves the capacity to form enduring attractions to any person irrespective of their gender identity.

Brady, who is 51, said he has grappled with anxiety and depression for years, and that he felt he needed to talk about his sexuality because it “goes part and parcel with the mental health piece.”

“I look at it as being able to love whomever I want no matter the vessel,” Brady told “Entertainment Tonight” co-host Nischelle Turner in his only TV interview on coming out. “I never spoke about it before because especially in my generation, you were raised to suffer in silence. Whatever your truth is. You should be able to feel like you walk in that daily because that’s the only way to really be free.”

Turner, who is longtime friends with Brady, noted that he has wanted to be in a relationship and in love, but that he’s struggled with it. 

“I think it’s the trusting piece. The self-trusting piece,” he said. “Admitting that I had a mental health journey to go on, to admitting that there is such a thing as clinical depression and anxiety, and then that opened the door to, ‘What are you not doing in all of these relationships?’ … Maybe that person is not the problem. You are the problem. Me? Yes you.”

Despite initial concerns about societal labels, Brady hopes coming out will help others. 

“If by me just speaking my truth and saying, ‘This is what I like and this is who I am,’ can help anyone, then I regret not doing it sooner,” he said.

From 1999 to 2008, Brady was married to Mandie Taketa and they share a daughter, Maile. Brady’s song “You and Me” poignantly reflects the emotional journey of their divorce, with Taketa and Maile appearing in the music video. Despite the separation, Taketa remains Brady’s best friend, and the two have built a blended family.

That blended family is set to appear with Brady in a new reality show on Hulu, where they showcase their dynamic and unconventional family ways.

Brady said that while he is not currently dating anyone, he is excited for his future.

“Me coming out and saying that I may identify as pansexual still doesn’t stop me from being the dopest host on TV… Still doesn’t stop me from being amazing at my job. In fact, if anything, I’m better because I’m lighter,” said Brady. 

Brady is set to take on the title role in the Broadway revival of “The Wiz” next year.

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