Dwyane Wade recalled his 12-year-old saying, "'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'"
Dwyane Wade is a proud parent.
During Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the basketball star recalled the moment his 12-year-old came out to him and wife Gabrielle Union, and also said that he hopes to give her “the best opportunity to be her best self.”
“First of all, I think it’s what every parent should be is what you’re being right now,” DeGeneres told him. “Which is unconditionally loving your child and supporting your child in whoever they are.”
“Me and my wife Gabrielle Union are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Wade, 38, said. “And we are proud allies as well. We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously. 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.”
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The athlete continued, revealing that his child had decided to go by the new name of Zaya, and be referred to by she/her 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,’ ” Wade shared.
“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.
Wade — who is also dad to Kaavia James, 15 months, Xavier Zechariah, 6, and Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 18, as well as the guardian of nephew Dahveon Morris, 18 — also shared that he was proud of Zaya and her role as “a leader.”
“Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’ ” Wade added to DeGeneres. “Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”