Wade broke the news during a visit to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Tuesday.
The basketball player told DeGeneres how Zaya went to talk to him and Union, and simply told them she wanted to use the “her” and “she” pronouns along with her new name.
According to the “Miami Herald,” Wade first started referring to Zaya with “she” and “her” pronouns about two months ago.
Wade says he remembered that conversation with Zaya:
“Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion; 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.’ ”
DeGeneres told Wade that he was doing a good thing by supporting Zaya and how she plans to live her life.
“I’m sure there are a lot of people that just don’t know what to do, so you’re a great example,” DeGeneres said.
Gender nonconforming children deserve to be heard, loved, and supported in their authenticity. @DwyaneWade + @itsgabrielleu continue to demonstrate phenomenal parenting with their love for Zaya! https://t.co/2OCsKPWN5m
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) February 11, 2020
Wade also seems to understand that as parents, he and Union have a responsibility to help their children grow up to be as happy and healthy as possible, regardless of what comes their way:
“So 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 and give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality [and gender] is now involved.”
“Internally, now it’s our job to one, go out to get information, to reach out to every relationship we have. My wife reached out to everybody on the cast of ‘Pose.’ We just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”
Since Union is an actress, reaching out to the cast of “Pose” made sense. The “Miami Herald” writes that “Pose” has the largest cast of LGBTQ and transgender people in TV history.
It sounds like Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, are ready to jump into this new stage of their daughter’s life.
“Me and my wife Gabrielle Union are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well. We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously,” Wade told DeGeneres.
Wade said he told Zaya that with her decision, she’ll have a chance to help others who might be going through a similar process.
Wade said he told Zaya: “I looked at her and said ‘You are a leader.’ This is our opportunity for you to be a voice. Right now. it’s through us because she’s 12 years old, but eventually, it’ll be through her.”
I was so touched when @itsgabrielleu reached out! BOTH she and @DwyaneWade are so committed to getting it right as parents. So looking for to Queen Z schooling ALL of y’all!!! ❤️ https://t.co/02HkKE0koh
— Angelica Defund The Police Ross (@angelicaross) February 11, 2020