Marlon Wayans is opening up about the personal “transition” he had to make after one of his sons came out as transgender.
Appearing on “The Breakfast Club” last week, the actor and comedian addressed his plans for a future stand-up special, for which he’s considering the titles “Skittles” or “Rainbow Child,” which is inspired by his 23-year-old trans son, Kai.
“I talk about the transition ― not their transition, but my transition as a parent, going from ignorance and denial to complete and unconditional love and acceptance,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of parents out there that need to have that message. I know, I’m dealing with it. It was a very painful situation for me.”
After acknowledging that he was still “working on my pronouns,” Wayans described Kai ― whom he shares with his former partner, Angela Zackery ― as the “most well-read, smartest” member of the family “hands down.”
“I just want my kids to be free,” he added. “I want them to be free and spirit-free and free to be themselves. The more you know yourself, the more you can govern yourself, the more you live your truth, the happier your existence.”
Though Wayans’ “Breakfast Club” chat appears to be the first time he’s spoken about Kai’s gender identity at length publicly, he has expressed support for his son on social media on a number of occasions previously.
Watch Marlon Wayans’ “Breakfast Club” appearance below. His comments on his son, Kai, begin around the 13:54 mark.
“Happy pride to my pride and joy. I wouldn’t change one effing thing about you,” he wrote on Instagram in 2019 alongside a photo of Kai wearing rainbow sneakers. “Love you to the moon around the sun through the galaxies and back again.”
Wayans acknowledged Kai’s 23rd birthday in May with a heartfelt post in which he doubled down on his support.
“I’ve always asked people to love me unconditionally, thank you for teaching me what that really means,” he wrote. “Be you! Your best you! You’re the gift and I’m wrapping paper… love love love you for life. Excuse my ignorance, chalk it up to growth.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Wayans shrugged off the implication that his journey as the parent of a trans child was an unusual choice for a comedy special. In fact, he’s already performed part of the set for an audience of “world leaders” at what he described as an event “for William Morris.”
“I felt like I want to do this set right here because it’s important to me,” he explained. “What’s important to me? Comedy. What’s important to me? My children. ... And what’s important is change.”
He went on to note: “I see a lot of gray hair here, but these kids that we’re dealing with, they’re different, right? And we can’t have our old ways and expect to do new things. So please embrace the new.”