Dwyane Wade, a now retired thirteen-time NBA All-Star, made a recent appearance on Ellen opening up about his role as a parent to his transgender daughter; Zaya.
The LGBTQ+ community has been making strides for equal rights and aims to rid social injustices against the various communities and for humanity in general especially in the past decade. More individuals have been empowered and express their identities as they believe true to themselves.
Wade has embraced his daughter’s identity and has encouraged other parents to do the same.
Here’s a background of Wade’s journey in parenthood. Wade married his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches in 2002 and they had two children together named Zaire and Zion. The two divorced in 2010 as Wade gained custody of the two children. Wade had another son named Xavier with longtime friend Aja Metoyer. He eventually married actress Gabrielle Union in 2014, and the two had another daughter named Kaavia. Wade has also become the legal guardian of his nephew and rising basketball star Dahveon Morris.
On the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wade talked about his now daughter Zaya (who was previously named Zion). He expressed, “Once Zaya…came home — I don’t know if everyone knows, [she was] originally named Zion, born as a boy — came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.’”
Wade shared to Ellen his direct words to Zaya:
“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 will be through her.”
Dwyane continued “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 we can, the best feedback we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved.”
This wasn’t the first time Wade discussed this topic. Last December he and daughter Zaya were interviewed on ESPN’S All the Smoke podcast. “I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son comes home and tells you he’s gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act? It ain’t about him. He knows who he is. It’s about you. Who are you?’”
Zaya expressed, “What is the point of being on this earth if you’re trying to be someone you’re not? It’s like you are not even living as yourself, which is the dumbest concept to me. Be true, and don’t really care what the ‘stereotypical’ way of being you is. Don’t even think about that, you know, just be true to yourself.”
Zaya continued “I think and I know it can get tough, definitely. But I think you push through and you be the best you… I think even through hard times, you gotta just push through. It’s worth it. I feel like it’s very worth it when you reach that point of yourself.”
A new documentary titled, “D. Wade: Life Unexpected,” directed and executive produced by Wade’s longtime friend Bob Metelus, is set to make its debut at 8 p.m. Central, Feb. 23 on ESPN