"Me and my wife Gabrielle, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud allies as well," Dwayne Wade told Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday.
The former NBA star shared about the moment his child, who was born Zion, announced her wish to be referred to as Zaya and with “she” and “her” pronouns.
“We take our roles and our responsibilities as parents very seriously,” Wade told DeGeneres.
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“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 give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”
Wade recalled the moment his child informed the family that she wished to no longer be referred to as Zion.
The former basketball player stated that when his 12-year-old came home, she 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 would love for you guys to call me Zaya.”
Following Zaya’s announcement, Wade said he and Union felt it was their duty to “go out and get information” and 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 said.
“Once Zion came home and said, ‘Call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are our leader, you are our leader and it is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’
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“Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old,” he added.
“But eventually it will be through her.”
Several people praised Wade and Union for their support of Zaya’s gender identity.
“I cannot begin to tell you how much I love Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade. I know it should be the norm but it’s not and they’re such amazing parents,” one person tweeted.
“Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union continue to set an amazing example for good parenting,” another commented.
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“Their support for Zaya and all their children is inspiring. You love to see it.”
Meanwhile, Wade condemned trolls who mock his child’s gender identity.
“Understand that you’re the one that’s got the issues. You’re the one that’s got the problems. It’s not the kids,” he said.
The former NBA superstar, 38, has three children from a previous relationship – namely Zaire, 18; Zaya, 12; and Xavier, 6; and Kaavia,1, whom he shares with wife Gabrielle Union, 47.
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