Marlon Wayans on accepting his trans son: ‘I talk about the transition … my transition as a parent’

Comedian and actor Marlon Wayans recently opened up about how accepting his trans son Kai changed him as a parent.

Marlon Wayans, a father of two, wants his children “to be free” — and that applies to their pronouns and beyond. 

On Friday, during an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” the comedian opened up about his oldest child, Kai, who is a trans man, and how he has an upcoming special in the works centered around Kai and his evolution as a father, potentially called either “Skittles” or “Rainbow Child.” 

Marlon Wayans, Kai Wayans, Black celebrity parents, Black parents of trans children, Black trans children, Black celebrity children,
Marlon Wayans attends the premiere of MGM’s “Respect” at Regency Village Theatre on Aug. 8, 2021, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

In the upcoming special, Wayans said, “I talk about the transition — not their transition, but my transition as a parent going from ignorance and denial to complete unconditional love and acceptance.”

He added, “I think there’s a lot of parents out there that need to have that message, and I know I’m dealing with it. It was a very painful situation for me, but it’s one of the best, funniest hours [of comedy] I could ever imagine.” 

Wayans is the father of two children, Kai, 23, and his son Shawn, 21, whom he shares with his ex-wife Angelica Zachary. Over the years, Wayans has shared glimpses of what his family life and dynamics have been, including addressing his prior infidelities and even Kai’s emerging sexuality. 

From touching tributes during Pride month to combating homophobic trolls who come for them online, Wayans hasn’t held back in showing his support for his children offstage, either.

During ”The Breakfast Club” interview, Wayans said, while he hasn’t always been the best parent to Kai, “They know I love them. They see me trying. They’re like, ‘I’m happy.’”

Wayans told the hosts he ultimately had to respect Kai’s wishes, adding how, as a parent, he wants his children “to be free.” 

“I want them to be free in spirit, free in thought, 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,” he said. “So, if they can’t get that in a household with their father and their mother, how the f— do I send them out into the world with that kind of confidence?”

He said, “I’m just so proud of them for being them.”

Never miss a beat: Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter.