Dwyane Wade says Florida’s anti-LGBTQ laws caused him to move his family out of the state

Francis Akhalbey April 28, 2023
Dwyane Wade said he moved his family out of Florida because of the state's anti-LGBTQ laws -- Image via @zayawade on Instagram

Retired basketball star Dwyane Wade is a legend in Miami – having spent most of his 16-year career with the Heat and winning three championships with the NBA franchise. Though the 13-time NBA All-Star is more than welcome in the city, he recently said Florida’s anti-LGBTQ laws caused him to move his family out of the state.

“I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions,” Wade told Rachel Nichols on her Headliners show, per TMZ. “I mean, obviously, the taxes are great, having ‘Wade’ County is great, but my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. So that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there.”

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, the former basketball star’s son, Zion, came out as transgender in 2020. The 41-year-old and his wife, Gabrielle Union-Wade, have since given their unwavering support to their child as well as the LGBTQ community. A Los Angeles Superior Court also recently approved a filing to have the name and gender of Zion changed. The teen now identifies as female and goes by the name, Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.

However, the state of Florida has come under scrutiny for passing laws that activists as well as the LGBTQ community deem as discriminatory against them. In 2022, Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which is also labeled as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. The controversial law initially barred Florida public school teachers from conducting instruction or discussion on sexual orientation or gender identity for students in kindergarten through grade 3, per NPR. However, it was recently expanded to bar those lessons up to grade 12. 

Other bills introduced by Republican lawmakers in the state include the “Safety in Private Spaces Act,” which seeks to bar people from using restrooms that do not match their “biological sex” – which is the sex assigned at birth. Anyone who flouts the proposed law will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. 

In March 2023, Florida also became the latest state to impose restrictions on transition-related medication for transgender youths. 

Wade has been very open and supportive about his son’s transition. In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2020, the retired basketball star opened up about the teenager coming out. 

“Zaya 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,’”  he said. 

“So internally it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife [Gabrielle Union] reached out to everyone on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self.”

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 28, 2023


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