Retired NBA star, Dwayne Wade, has recalled the moment his 12-year-old child, Zaya (then known as Zion) came out as transgender.
Wade, who appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday said: “Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion; Zion, born as a boy — came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya.'”
“Once Zaya came home and said, ‘Call me Zaya,’ and ‘I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. It’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,'” Wade said.
After Zaya came out as transgender, the Miami Heat star and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have shown support for her, despite criticism from online bullies.
Last year, Union attended the Miami Beach Pride Festival with Zaya with a designed T-shirt that promotes inclusion and equality. Wade was unable to attend the festival due to his duties with the Heats, but he showed his support via social media.
Regarded as one of the best shooting guards of all-time, Wade told Ellen DeGeneres, “We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we are proud allies as well.”
“We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously. So when a 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 we can, the best feedback we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it,” he added.
This isn’t the first time Wade has made reference to his son with the pronoun her.
While speaking on the “All The Smoke” podcast in December, Wade said: “I’ve watched my son from Day 1 become into who she now eventually has come into.”
“And for me, it’s all about, nothing changes with my love, nothing changes with my responsibilities. Only thing I have to do now is get smarter and educate myself more,” he continued.