During the interview, he revealed that his entire family has embraced Zaya’s decision to become a female and be addressed as a girl.
Since announcing Zaya’s transition, Wade and his family have been subjected to both praise and criticism from the media as well as social media over their decision to embrace their daughter’s sexual identity.
Along with the announcement of social media, Wade decided to document the family as they deal with his daughter’s decision in his upcoming documentary. He wanted to have an honest conversation about the subject to give the public a peek to the family dynamic.
Wade was candid about the whole experience.
GMA wrote on Twitter, “NBA superstar Dwayne Wade opens up to Robin Roberts about daughter Zaya’s gender identity and why it was important to feature this journey his new ESPN documentary.”
FULL INTERVIEW: NBA superstar @DwyaneWade opens up to @robinroberts about daughter Zaya’s gender identity and why it was important to feature this journey his new @ESPN documentary. https://t.co/ZdCAUU3gAQ pic.twitter.com/Bf6xUJQvcx
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 18, 2020
“We struggled with what people would say about a 12-year-old making a decision about her life, ” Wade stated. “But we also know our child, right?… One thing we do know as a family, we’ve been through so many different things that other people and other families go through, and they say, ‘Thank you guys for speaking out on it. Thank you guys for being the face and the voice of it because we can’t.”
He continued, “And that’s what we’re trying to do. We know there are other families out there that are dealing with their kid, finding themselves, and learning who they are.”
During the interview, the former basketball player dropped a major family secret by stating that this conversation between the family and Zaya has been going since his daughter was only three years old.
“She’s known it for nine years,” Wade admitted. “She’s known since she was three years old. Along this way, we’ve asked questions, and we’ve learned. But she’s known.”
Revealing that part of the journey to acceptance was an eye-opening moment not only for Wade but for many families dealing with the same circumstances.
This is beautiful. The Wades continue to show us what it looks like to actively love and support queer children. Everyone needs to be taking notice. https://t.co/F3IVPxg1RA
— Preston Mitchum, he/him (@PrestonMitchum) February 11, 2020
During the interview, the retired NBA champ decided to answer the criticism and hate the family has received.
He stated, “Hopefully, I’m dealing with it the right way. Some people feel that I’m not. But inside our home, we see the smile on her face. We see the confidence that she’s able to walk around and be herself. And that’s when you know you’re doing right.”
“She is our leader,” he continued. “I think when the conversation we had — the one thing about it, for parents, is have conversations with your kids. Zaya, early on, knew two things. She knew straight, and she knew gay. But Zaya started doing more research.”
“She is the one who sat down with us as a family and said, ‘Hey, I don’t think I’m gay.’ And she went down the list. ‘This is how I identify myself, and this is my gender identity, I identify myself as a young lady. I think I’m a straight trans because I like boys,” he continued. “So it was a process for us to sit down with our daughter and find out who she is and what she likes, and not put something on her. As parents, we put our hopes, and we put our fears on our kids.”
“With Zaya, we decided to listen to her. And she’s walking us on the journey. I’m not going to sit here and act like we have all the answers,” Wade concluded. “I’m not going to sit here and act like before our child sat us down that we weren’t ignorant parents. When I say we’re learning from our 12-year-old, we’re literally learning from our child.”