Dwyane Wade, former NBA player of the Miami Heat, his wife Gabrielle Union, three of his children, plus his adopted nephew happily supported Wade’s daughter Zaya when she came out as transgender in February. Since he found out and asked Zaya for permission to share her news, Dwyane has been sharing his new experience as he and his family get more familiar with the LGBT+ community. The Wade family have been learning how to support Zaya in the best way that they can.
A Brother’s Love
A day after Dwyane and Gabrielle went public with the news, Zaire, Zaya’s older brother, made a post on Instagram of pictures of him and his sister that said, “I’ve told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth.” He mentioned how he begged their mother for another sibling to watch out for and how grateful he was of having Zaya by his side his whole life.
Dwyane Wade family
As for Dwyane, he discussed Zaya’s coming out with TV talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres and shared that he and his wife were proud parents and proud allies of the LGBT+ community. He went on to say that on their journey, his family look to Zaya as the leader to learn how to help her live her truth when he said, “We’re all about protecting her heart, we’re about protecting her joy and to do that, we have to support her,” on an interview with Good Morning America. Wade admitted that because of his past views, he had to check himself as a father and confront his own biases to open up and support his daughter completely.
Introducing Zaya Wade
Wade listened to Zaya when she came to him and Union, and said, “Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I am ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her.’ I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.” She then went on to say that she has known her truth since she was three and that it was time for everyone to catch up with who she wants to be.
As far as her father knew as his child grew up, he knew that he’d have to face something that he’s never had to before since no one in his life had ever come out. But being a parent came first and foremost for Wade and Union who also have supported Zaya even before she came out as transgender when she attended Miami Pride saying that family support each other. He also defended a photo that Union posted with Zaya wearing acrylic nails and a crop top last December after receiving criticism.
Though there has been progress for the LGBT+ community in recent years, the stigma surrounding them still predominantly exists, especially in the professional black athletic community. Wade and Union use their position in the public eye to be examples open and supportive parents.