Dwayne Wade announced that his daughter, Zaya, came out as trans at the age of 12. His wife, Gabrielle Union, posted a video of Zaya explaining her decision to come out with the caption “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.”
In her own words, Zaya vocalizes exactly why she wanted to be “true to herself.”
“If [you] are afraid to be judged, I would say, don’t even think about that. Just be true to yourself. Are you really even… like, what’s the point of being on this earth if you’re going to try to be someone you’re not? It’s like, you’re not even living as yourself. It’s just like, be true and don’t worry about the ‘stereotypical’ way of being you is.”
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
Wade also stopped by The Ellen Show to show his support for Zaya and her transition.
“First of all me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well. Once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home—first named Zion… originally born 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,” Wade said about the moment Zaya came out as transgender. “I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.”
Zaya’s brother Zaire also voiced his support for his sister, posting an adorable picture of them as children alongside a message of unconditional love.
“Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of. I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years. We did everything together…we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind… I’ve told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth. I don’t care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there’s no love lost on this side.”
While he was a guest on Ellen, Wade explained the importance of listening to your children, respecting their choices, and offering your support.
“Internally it’s our job to one go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife reached out to everyone on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self.”
He continued, praising Zaya’s strength.
“I looked at her and said you are a leader. It’s 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.”
That certainly sounds like supporting your kids to us.