Nothing but love in this family. Dwyane Wade‘s eldest son, Zaire, 18, joined his father and stepmother, Gabrielle Union, in showing his overwhelming love and support for his sibling, Zaya, 12, after she came out as transgender. In an Instagram post he shared on Feb. 12, Zaire shared two throwback photos of him and Zaya when they were very little. “Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad,” he began the caption to his post. “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.”
In his loving message, Zaire went on to share with his followers that he and Zaya “did everything together…we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind.” Zaire reassured his sibling, “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.”
And it’s clear Zaya has only pure love and support from every single member of her family. Zaya’s father, Dwyane, shared with Ellen DeGeneres during the Feb. 11 episode of her daytime talk show that he and his wife, Gabrielle, “are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community.” But more than that, Dwyane reiterated to the audience, “We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question or an issue or anything, it’s our job as parents to listen and give them the best information and feedback that we can. That doesn’t change because sexuality is involved with it.”
Dwyane went on to share with Ellen how Zaya chose to come out to her father and stepmother, explaining, “‘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,'” the former basketball star explained. Since that time, Dwyane and Gabrielle have sought out resources, information, and connected with people so that they can develop the knowledge they need Zaya’s continues to embrace her identity.
It seems, too, that Zaya is so proud to now be living the life she was meant to. In a candid video Dwyane captured with his remarkable child and Gabrielle posted on Twitter, Zaya shared, “If [you] are afraid to be judged, I would say, don’t even think about that.” She went on to say that everyone should “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.”