Dwyane Wade’s daughter is teaching their family about acceptance and love after coming out as transgender. The NBA says that there’s still much he has to ‘learn’ as a parent.
Dwyane Wade admits that he still has much to learn about parenting a transgender child. One week after he revealed that his 12-year-old, Zaya Wade, identifies as transgender, the NBA star said in an interview with Good Morning America that his daughter is teaching their family about being effective allies. Zaya, Dwyane revealed, apparently realized she was trans when she was just three years old. It wasn’t until she was older that she came out to her family, telling them that she didn’t think she was gay, but a “straight trans” girl. “It was a process to sit down with our daughter and find out who she is and what she likes.,” Dwyane told Robin Roberts during their February 18 interview. “Not [putting] something on her, because as parents we put our hopes and our fears on our kids.”
While Dwayne, his wife, Gabrielle Union, and his other children are all supportive of Zaya, he says that things haven’t been “perfect” during this journey. “We decided to listen to [Zaya] and she’s leading us along this journey,” he told Robin. “We’re about protecting her heart, protecting her joy, and to do that, we have to support them. For Zaya, it was important that she understood her family has her back and just from the world and what people will say and think. Hopefully, I’m dealing with it the right way. And some people think I’m not. But, inside our home we see the smile on our daughter’s face and the confidence that she’s able to walk around and be herself and that’s when you know she’s doing [all] right.”
He gave some advice to other parents who may have their children tell them one day that they’re LGBTQ+. “[Zaya’s] our leader, and I think — the conversation we had, the one thing about it, with parents is have conversations with your kids. We’re imperfect but we love each other for who we are. We’re learning from our 12-year-old. We’re literally learning from our child, so the biggest thing is have an open mind. Go out and research.”
FULL INTERVIEW: NBA superstar @DwyaneWade opens up to @robinroberts about daughter Zaya’s gender identity and why it was important to feature this journey his new @ESPN documentary. https://t.co/ZdCAUU3gAQ pic.twitter.com/Bf6xUJQvcx
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 18, 2020
The family is truly standing behind Zaya and letting her live her truth. Zaya’s older brother, Zaire Wade, 18, posted some throwback pics of the siblings playing as kids, captioned, “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.”