Comedian Marlon Wayans is using his platform to show support for his transgender son, Kai.
“I have a daughter that transitioned into a son. My daughter Amai is now Kai,” Wayans, 51, revealed on a recent episode of “The Breakfast Club” podcast, adding that he will address the impact of Kai’s journey in an upcoming comedy special.
“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,” Wayans explained. “And 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 man, it’s one of the best, funniest hours I probably could ever imagine.”
He added: “They know I love them. They see me trying, and, like, I’m happy.” (Wayans shares Kai, 23, and son Shawn, 21, with ex-wife Angelica Zachary.)
As a parent, Wayans just wants his kids to “be free in spirit, free in thought [and] free to be themselves,” adding that he wants to set a good example in his own life. “The more you know yourself, the more you can govern yourself. The more you live your truth, the happier your existence,” he continued. “So, if they can’t get that in the household with their father and their mother, how the f–k do I send them out into the world with that kind of confidence? And I’m just so proud of them for being them, but that don’t mean that I ain’t got jokes.”
Wayans revealed that his upcoming special — which he teased will be called “Skittles or Rainbow Child” — was performed in front of important “world leaders.” The decision to perform his set about Kai for the group was one he made intentionally.
“It was that big of a crowd and I felt like, ‘I want to do this set right here because it’s important to me,’” Wayans shared. “What’s important to me? Comedy. What’s important to me? My children. What do I love? And what’s important is change.”
Wayans continued: “[I thought], ‘And so, all you world leaders that’s having this summit, I want you to think about these people and this synapse and how to be inclusive of this next generation, because I see a lot of gray hair here, but these kids that we dealing with, they’re different. And we can’t have our old ways and expect to do new things, so please embrace the new.’”
Back in June 2019, Wayans celebrated Kai via Instagram after they came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “Happy pride 🌈 to my pride and joy,” he captioned a photo of Kai sporting rainbow-soled sneakers. “I wouldn’t change one effing thing about you. Love you to the moon around the sun through the galaxies and back again.”
Wayans proceeded to clap back at online trolls who left hateful comments on the post. “She’s not old enough to understand what that’s really all about,” wrote one critic. “You have the power to change lives Bro, don’t teach her that.”
In response, Wayans explained that he chose to leave negative comments on the post instead of deleting them because he wanted “the world to see the ignorance that still exist[s].” He added: “Objective without obstacles is a worthless triumph. We all will some day [sic] get to unconditional love. Because of my daughter I am one step closer. I am not God, I don’t judge I just LOVE. And still pray for the haters because I refuse to judge them too I just love.”