Dwyane Wade Is Proud To Give His Transgender Child A Chance To Be Her Best Self

The retired NBA star told Ellen DeGeneres that he takes his role as an LGBTQ ally for 12-year-old Zaya "very seriously."
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After 16 years in the NBA, Dwyane Wade is focused these days on his off-the-court role as the father of a transgender child.

Appearing on 鈥The Ellen DeGeneres Show鈥 Tuesday, Wade recalled the moment when his 12-year-old child came out to him as trans and said she wanted to be called Zaya and addressed by the pronouns 鈥渟he鈥 and 鈥渉er.鈥 Describing himself and wife Gabrielle Union as 鈥減roud allies,鈥 he said the discussion left him determined to give Zaya 鈥渢he best opportunity to be her best self.鈥

鈥淲e take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously,鈥 said Wade, who is also dad to Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 18, Xavier Zechariah, 6, and Kaavia James, 15 months. 鈥淲hen our child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it鈥檚 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.鈥

Watch the full interview below:

Union and Wade faced criticism after the couple posted photos of Zaya attending an LGBTQ Pride parade in Miami last summer. Wade, however, remained unperturbed by the online backlash.

鈥淚 think as a family, we should support each other,鈥 he told Variety at the time. 鈥淢y job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do.鈥

Wade 鈥 who is the subject of a new ESPN documentary, 鈥D. Wade: Life Unexpected鈥 鈥 doubled down on that stance in his 鈥淓llen鈥 chat on Tuesday. Thus far, he said, he and Union have been actively 鈥渞eaching out鈥 to cast members of the FX series 鈥Pose鈥 and others in an effort to 鈥渇igure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.鈥

鈥淥nce Zaya came home and said, 鈥業 want you to call me Zaya and I鈥檓 ready to take on this,鈥 I looked at her and said, 鈥榊ou are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,鈥欌 the proud father recalled. 鈥淩ight now it鈥檚 through us, because she鈥檚 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.鈥

Elsewhere in the interview, Wade reflected on his friendship with Kobe Bryant, who died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area.

鈥淗e was the first superstar that really embraced different generations, really embraced us,鈥 Wade said. 鈥淗e really put his arms around us as competitors, and the rest of the world.鈥

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