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Comedian and TV host Wayne Brady is looking at life “with an open mind” after coming out as pansexual — an attraction to people regardless of how they identify on the gender spectrum (she, her, they, etc.) or sexually (gay, straight, bisexual, etc.).
“I am pansexual,” the Let’s Make a Deal host, 52, told People. He also put it another way: “Bisexual — with an open mind!”
While growing up in Georgia, Brady recalled being “attracted to certain men in my life," though he’s “always pushed that aside because of how I was raised.”
“I couldn't say if I was bisexual, because I had to really see what that was, especially because I really have not gotten a chance to act on anything,” he explained. “So, I came to pansexual because — and I know that I'm completely messing up the dictionary meaning — but to me, pan means being able to be attracted to anyone who identifies as gay, straight, bi, transsexual or non-binary. Being able to be attracted across the board. And, I think, at least for me, for right now, that is the proper place.”
Brady's definition isn't far off. Pansexuality itself, as defined by the LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD, describes a person who can experience “physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions to any person, regardless of gender identity.” In other words, they’re attracted to the person, rather than their body parts, pronouns or gender identity.
Pansexuality is one of several terms under what is described as the “bisexual umbrella,” or “bi+ umbrella,” a collection of identities intended to be more inclusive for those who identify as bisexual. Bisexuality describes those who are “physically, romantically and/or emotionally attracted to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, in the same way, or to the same degree,” according to GLAAD. Oftentimes, someone’s bisexuality is fluid (ever-changing throughout their lives).
Brady is far from the only celebrity to come out as pansexual — others who have self-identified this way have included Demi Lovato, Mae Whitman, Jena Malone, Miley Cyrus, Tess Holliday, Bella Thorne and Janelle Monáe, to name a few.
But along with pansexuality, new terminologies and identities keep appearing in the zeitgeist. These emerging LGBTQ identities are known as "microlabels," and are meant to be more nuanced, and more inclusive of people with various degrees of experiences.
Some other microlabels under the bi+ umbrella include…
Abrosexual: When one’s sexual attraction is fluid and constantly changing, according to the Trevor Project.
Biromantic: A person who is romantically attracted to people of two specific and distinct gender identities, meaning, according to the Trevor Project, that they're not necessarily sexually attracted to the same people they’re romantically attracted to.
Demisexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to a person only after they've developed a close emotional bond with them, explains the Cleveland Clinic.
Heteroflexible and homoflexible: Someone who’s "mostly straight," as in usually finds themselves attracted to people of a different gender to them, but occasionally is attracted to people who are the same gender, explains Healthline.
Omnisexual: Someone who is attracted to people of all genders, and for whom gender is a significant factor for attraction, notes the Trevor Project.
Sexually fluid: Someone who experiences changes in their sexual attraction over time and/or depending on the situation. Some people may find that who they are attracted to and/or the intensity of those feelings change over different days or depending on who they are in a relationship with, explains the Trevor Project.
Skoliosexual: An attraction to trans people (meaning they identify as the opposite sex of which they were assigned at birth) and nonbinary people (people who identify as genderless), according to the Trevor Project.
Two-spirit: A term used within some American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) communities to refer to a person who identifies as having both a male and a female essence or spirit. It encompasses sexual, cultural, gender, and spiritual identities, and provides unifying, positive, and encouraging language that is for Indigenous-use only, says PFLAG.