Dwyane Wade opened up about the things he’s learned about the LGBTQIA+ community through raising his daughter, Zaya, and it’s so lovely
After his 14-year-old daughter, Zaya, came out publicly as transgender last year, Dwyane Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have shown a ton of support for Zaya and her journey. In a touching new interview, the retired NBA pro explained that he “really wasn’t knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community” before she came out, but it seems the experience has helped bring their family closer together.
“It’s made me grow,” Wade told Today host Craig Melvin. “I didn’t know anything, really wasn’t knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community. What it has done is it opened my eyes and my ears to something greater and bigger than I, and my daughter has allowed us gracefully to be her support system.”
Wade shares Zaya and his oldest son Zaire — who was born in 2002 — with his ex-wife and high school sweetheart, Siohvaughn Funches. He’s also a dad to 7-year-old Xavier, whom he welcomed with his friend Aja Metoyer in 2013, and his youngest daughter, two-year-old, Kaavia, whom he welcomed with Union via surrogate in 2018. But it’s Zaya who he calls “the strong one in this family,” adding, “She’s a hero. It’s my wife — it’s our family’s job — to make sure that we listen to [Zaya]. We listen to the doctors, we ask questions, and we formulate our own ideas of how Zaya should be and should be raised in this world and we don’t allow others to do that for us.”
He noted that the family is “in a blessed position” to be able to support their children as they grow into who they are, adding, “we don’t have to put our dreams and our hopes on them, we don’t have to say ‘y’all gotta pay these bills because dad needs help’ or ‘mom needs help.'” Noting that not everyone “has those same fortunes,” he added, “since we are public figures, it’s our job, as ‘models’ in the world, to make sure we share in our experiences to help others think differently and see other sides of the world — it’s not just one way.”
Though we’re sure it’s not easy to navigate raising four children in the public eye, both Wade and Union are no doubt doing their best to show others what a supportive, inclusive family unit can be, and more of this please — it’s perfect.