Marlon Wayans was applauded by LGBTQ leaders in San Francisco and Los Angeles for publicly supporting his eldest child, Kai Zackery Wayans.
The 23-year-old artist, born Amai Zackery Wayans, recently transitioned from a female-to-male transgender who uses “he/him” and “they/them” pronouns.
Kai (left) is Marlon’s first child from his long-term relationship with Angela Zackery (they split in 2013 after 21 years together). They also share 21-year-old son Shawn Wayans (pictured right).
Marlon’s support for Kai earned him praise from leaders in the LGBTQ+ community who say he’s setting a great example for parents of transgender people, TMZ reported.
In a recent appearance on “The Breakfast Club,” Marlon opened up about his own learning process as a parent of a trans child.
Marlon, 51, said he went from “ignorance and denial” to complete love and acceptance of Kai’s transition.
Marlon announced Kai’s sexual identity in an Instagram post in 2019:
“Happy pride to my pride and joy. I wouldn’t change one effing thing about you. Love you to the moon around the sun through the galaxies and back again.”
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, the Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, tells TMZ, “We celebrate Marlon Wayans supporting his trans son and showing parents everywhere that acceptance is possible, even when it’s hard … let your child know that you love and support them, no matter what. It’s amazing for Marlon to model that for other parents out there who may not understand it yet.”
Marlon is pictured with his niece, Illia Wayans (left), his son, Shawn, and his nephew, Marlon Wayans (far right).
Illia and Marlon are the children of Marlon’s older brother, comedian/actor Shawn Wayans, 52.
Marlon was praised by the Los Angeles LGBT Center for being open about Kai, and also tackling the trans topic on his new comedy special, “Rainbow Child.”
“It’s about my daughter that transitioned into a son,” Marlon said of Kai.
“My daughter Amai is now Kai and so I talk about the transition – not her transi-, his, their transition – but my transition as a parent going from ignorance and denial to complete unconditional love and acceptance. 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.”
Marlon explained that Kai uses the “they/them” pronouns, which confused him initially.
“I told my daughter, I said, ‘Ni–a, you transitioning into your brother. You look just like him.’ I can’t tell the difference between her and Shawn. I swear to God.”
“I’m still working on my pronouns,” Marlon laughed.
“They know I love them,” he said. “They see me trying and they’re, like, ‘I’m happy.’ But I gotta respect their wishes.”