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      Marlon Wayans Shares His Reaction to Learning His Child Was Trans: 'I Grew the Most That I Ever Did'

      Posted by Janine Rubenstein on Saturday, June 1, 2024 Under: #HOODKNEWGLOBAL

      The comedian — whose new standup special debuts June 4 on Amazon Prime — opens up about his parenting journey

      JC Olivera/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Kai Wayans and Marlon Wayans© Provided by People

      Marlon Wayans isn't the same dad he was a few years ago.

      The hit comedian, actor and father of three, 51, is back with a new standup special, Good Grief, premiering June 4 on Amazon Prime.  It’ll be his fourth special amid a fairly recent foray into standup, with most of his sets based on personal experiences, like his journey to understand and embrace his son, who is transgender.

      “I’m very vulnerable nowadays onstage," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "I don’t know why it took me so long to do standup. Now I can’t stop.” Mostly, he’s found healing in the humor: “That’s my therapy. Life happens, and I go, ‘What’s funny about it?’ I’m literally trying to rescue myself.” 

      Related: Marlon Wayans' Kids: All About His 2 Sons, Kai and Shawn

      Marlon Wayans/Instagram Marlon and Kai Wayans© Provided by People

      When it comes to fatherhood, he's dad to sons Kai, 24, and Shawn, 22, with ex Angela Zackery, and daughter Axl, 18 months with ex Brittany Moreland. Wayans says he was thrust into a period of soul-searching when his oldest, Kai, first revealed they were transgender.

      Marlon says he went through his own transition “from defiance to acceptance. It took me all of a week, and in that week I grew the most that I ever did in my life. You understand the purpose of kids and the beauty of unconditional love. At the end of the day, in my heart, only thing that matters to me is that my child is happy.”

      For more on Marlon Wayans, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, or subscribe here.

      He has since relayed that experience to audiences in his standup “to gift not just laughter but some lessons.” And his son was okay with that. “I have a contract with my kids: ‘Whatever you do in life, just know that there’s a possibility I’m going to find some humor and talk about it,’ ” Marlon explains.

      Ser Baffo/Prime Video Marlon Wayans© Provided by People

      Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

      One thing not on his joke list right now is his relationship with ex Brittany Moreland, with whom he’s currently in a custody dispute over their 18-month-old daughter Axl. “I don’t do public battles,” he says. “You don’t have to be together to let your child grow up in peace. Every child deserves that.”   

      As for his comedy, he's hoping the lessons in his jokes resonate with audiences.  "I feel like it was important for me to once again find the light in the darkness," he says, "and gift that to the audience because I feel like there's so many people that are going through it."


      Tags: marlon wayans  shares   his   reaction   to learning   his  child   was  trans   grew   the  most   that   i   ever  did' 
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