Dwyane Wade said Zaya sat them down and said she was ready to live ‘her truth’
“First of all, me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well,” the former NBA star told Ellen. “We take our roles and our responsibilities as parents very seriously.” Ellen praised the couple for “unconditionally supporting your child,” saying that’s what every parent should do, though it doesn’t always happen.
Wade continued, “When our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, 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 has been an outspoken supporter of his daughter and the LGBTQ+ community in the past. He shut down trolls who negatively commented on a family photo that showed Zaya wearing nails and captioning the photo, “My girls,” saying on Twitter, “I’ve seen some post-thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo. Stupidity is apart of this world we live in—so i get it. But here’s the thing—I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!”
Wade talked with Ellen and explained to viewers that Zaya was “born as a boy” and “originally named Zion.” But one day, Zaya asked to talk to her dad and step-mom and explained that she was ready to live as she was always meant to. “[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,’” said Wade. “I said, ‘You are a leader. You are a leader, and this is an opportunity to allow you to be a voice’. Right now it’s through us because she’s 12 years old, but, eventually, it will be through her.”
He said once Zaya told them, his wife immediately went out seeking information to ensure thy supported Zaya in the best way possible. “Now it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have,” and they did so with the cast of the award-winning FX series Pose, which made TV history by having the largest cast of transgender actors.
“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 told Ellen.