Iconic basketball star Dwayne Wade appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ Tuesday ahead of the release of his upcoming ESPN documentary entitled ‘D. Wade: Life Unexpected,’ and discussed a variety of topics about his work ethic and personal life.
However, one particular comment stood out amongst the rest and resonated with listeners. This was in regards to his 12-year-old daughter, Zaya, coming out to the family as transgender, and how Wade’s processed the massive revelation after the young child shared it with her family.
Wade led off his appearance on the famous talk show host’s program by mentioning howhem and his wife, Gabrielle Union, are “proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well,” he mentioned. “We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”
The pair have been outspoken advocates of the LGBTQ+ community long before the revelation, and even went as far as contacting the stars of the show ‘Pose,’ a program with transsexual actors, for more information on their daughter’s sexual orientation.
“Once Zaya … originally born Zion as a boy, came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth, and I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her.’ I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’ … So internally, now it’s our job to … go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have,” the basketball star commented to DeGeneres.
The champion athlete went on to explain the thought process he has developed as the parent of an LGBTQ+ child, saying, “When our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can,” he mentioned. “And that doesn’t change because sexuality’s now involved in it.”
“We’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunities to be her best self,” Wade mentioned in reference to his daughter’s coming out. He also referenced telling the 12-year-old that she would now be an advocate for trans youth worldwide thanks to her fame, and how she could leverage that to the benefit of the community.
“I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. You are a leader and this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’ Right now it’s through us because she’s 12-years-old, but eventually, it’ll be through her.”