Dwyane Wade On Respecting Daughter Zaya: 'I'm Trying Not To Dim Her Light'

by Erica Gerald Mason
Andrew Toth/Getty

Someone must be chopping onions here, because we’re tearing up

In a recent interview with Trevor Noah, Dwyane Wade discussed how he parents his children, namely his daughter Zaya. Wade has four kids, including 19-year-old Zaire, 14-year-old Zaya, 8-year-old Xavier, and 3-year-old Kaavia (whom he co-parents with wife Gabrielle Union). When talking about how he views his children, Wade addresses the inner work he does to stay connected with them.

The talk turned to Wade’s daughter Zaya, who is transgender. “[You] want to win championships on the court, and championships at home as well,” Noah began the conversation. “What helped you to begin to understand so that you can be the best parent to her?”

“Well, I think that when things happen personally to you, when you have a personal connection with something or someone, you take it more serious[ly],” Wade began.

“But when it happens to you, you have to look it in the face right on, you know? Like, my daughter looking at me across the table. This is something I have to deal with, right? In the sense of, I don’t know everything.”

“You know, as a parent, you want to make sure that your kids come to you, and you have answers. You have the right words, you have the right support, you have the right motivation,” Wade explained. “And so at that moment, I had no answers. The only answer that I knew and that I had was that ‘this is my child and I love them and I hate the pain that my child is in’.”

“You know, seeing the pain of not being able to feel confident and comfortable in who you are,” Wade told Noah. “You don’t want to see no one live like that — no one you love. And so immediately wants to love and embrace, and you see the just delight.”

“I see Zaya’s light” Wade said. “I’m trying to be in a place where I’m not trying to dim her light. I’m trying to move out the way to let her get all the light. I just see a beautiful, blossoming 14-year-old girl who’s trying to pass her tests at school like everyone else.”

Wade went on to explain that he and his wife do their best to nurture their children.

“My wife and I, we understand, our job is to provide, to protect, to love, to facilitate. We have rules, but they’re not to own… it’s to [help them] find out who they are…it’s not about us.”

Excuse us while we go cry and hug our kiddos.