Dwyane Wade opens up about supporting his transgender child, who’s now going by Zaya
Former NBA star Dwyane Wade revealed the moment in which he first found out that his child was transgender. The longtime Miami Heat star went on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to give insight as to how his 12-year-old child first informed him and his wife, Gabrielle Union, of the news.
Transcript via Ree Hines of Today:
“Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion,” said Wade. “Zion, born as a boy — came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, and I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya,’”
Dwyane Wade was a dedicated basketball force for 16 years, but he has been just as dedicated as a parent.
Zaya, the second of Wade’s four children, gave Wade and Gabrielle another challenge to tackle after the longtime Heat icon retired at the end of last season:
“Once Zion came home and said, ‘Call me Zaya,’ and ‘I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. It’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’” said the 38-year-old Wade. “Right now, it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually, it will be through her.”
Wade and his wife made it a point to inform themselves as to how to best approach the situation and help themselves to being good parents for Zaya, as explained in the clip:
Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 11, 2020
“That was our job, to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife reached out to everybody on the cast of ‘Pose,'” Wade said, referring to the FX drama series centered around Black and Latino LGBTQ characters. “We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to make sure we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”
It seems Dwyane Wade is doing as good a job as he did for his sport in his parenting life, being one of the first athletes to speak on this matter so openly and excelling when it comes to accepting and helping his children be the best they can be.