Dwyane Wade wants to give his daughter Zaya “the best opportunity to be her best self.”
On Tuesday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the former basketball player recalls the moment when his 12-year-old came out to him and her stepmom Gabrielle Union as transgender.
“Me and my wife Gabrielle Union are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” the 38-year-old told host Ellen DeGeneres. “And we are proud allies as well. We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”
The athlete continued, “So when our child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, to give them the best feedback that we can — and that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”
The Olympic gold medalist remembers when Zaya came home and told her parents her preferred pronouns.
“So once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — first Zion, I don’t know if everyone knows, 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,’” he shared.
As parents, Wade and Union tried to learn as much as they could about the transgender community.
“So internally, it’s now our job to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have — my wife reached out to everybody on the cast of ‘Pose’ — we’re 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,” he continued.
Dwyane and Gabrielle welcomed daughter Kaavia James in September 2018. Wade is also the father of Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 18, and Xavier Zechariah, 6, and is the guardian of nephew Dahveon Morris, 18.