by Iman Milner
November 13, 2023
Comedian Marlon Wayans opened up about his journey to accepting the gender identity of his son Kai, who is trans.
Comedian Marlon Wayans got personal in an interview on The Breakfast Club on Nov. 10 when he shared details about his journey toward accepting his son Kai’s gender identity. Buzzfeed reports that Wayans’ new comedy special, Skittles or Rainbow Child, chronicles the “painful” journey he took to embrace all of his children equally.
“I have a daughter who became a son. My daughter Amai is now Kai, and that’s why I’m talking about the transition,” Wayans said. “Not his…her transition, but my transition as a parent, going from ignorance and denial to complete unconditional love and acceptance.” The Don’t Be A Menace star also shared that he is still with Kai’s preferred ” she/them” pronouns but is working hard to “respect her wishes.” For Wayans, the intention is to help others cope with similar circumstances.
“There are a lot of parents out there who need this message,” he continued. “I know I struggle with this. It was a very painful situation for me, but man, [the special] is probably one of the best and most fun hours I could ever imagine.”
With his admission, Wayans joins people like Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union who have also been vocal about their daughter Zaya’s decision to transition and how it allowed them to not only discover their own biases, but also find new ways to address their biases to love and support children.
“I want my children to be free. I want them to be free in spirit, free in thought and free to be themselves,” Wayans said. “The more you know yourself, the better you can govern yourself, the more you live your truth, the happier your existence. So if they can’t do that in their father and mother’s household, how the hell am I supposed to send them out into the world with that kind of confidence? And I’m just so proud of them for being them.”
As Black men work to overcome the ideologies of patriarchy and make space for a new gender and sexual expression, fathers like Wade and Wayans are often met with community support as Black LGBTQ+ youth continue to face hurdles in society faced overall. As the comedian’s comments made the rounds on social media, many praised his transparency about the situation and his obvious love and respect for Kai.
“This is beautiful and this is the direction, support and affirmation that queer people should receive from their parents,” one X user commented. “Unconditional love is right there,” said another.