In his recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade shared the story of his transgender daughter Zaya on her choosing to live life as her authentic self. Both Wade and his wife, actress and singer Gabrielle Union are taking their role as parents of an LGBTQI child, very seriously.

“We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So, when our child comes home with a question or an issue, it’s our job as parents to listen and give them the best information we can and the best feedback we can.

“That doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it. So, when Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home… and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth, and I want to be referenced as she/her. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya.’

“So, it was our job to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship we have. My wife reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can, to make sure we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”

He continued, “Once [she] came home and said, ‘Call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this.’ 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.”

Last year, before his daughter came out, Wade shared a photo of Zaya wearing a crop top and received the expected trolling from social media couch warriors, so he took the time to talk about his attitude in response and moving forward.

“Stupidity is apart of this world we live in — so I get it. But here’s the thing — I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love and a smile!”

By Dirk Smith

Photo from Dwayne Wade’s Instagram