Dwyane Wade revealed that his daughter is transgender and now goes by the name Zaya while chatting with Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show on Tuesday, February 11. The NBA star spoke candidly about Zaya’s gender journey and what a support system he and wife Gabrielle Union have been for her throughout it all.
“First of all, me and my wife Gabrielle, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud allies as well,” the 38-year-old said to Ellen, 62, while the audience applauded in the background. “Once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home… first, Zion. 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.'”
Dwayne explained that Zion (who he shares with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches), who was born a boy, approached them one day and said: “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.”
He continued, “We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question, our child comes home with an issue, our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information we can, to give the best feedback we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”
The decorated sports star also revealed that Gabrielle, 47, reached out to the cast of the F/X series Pose, which centers around NYC’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the ’80s and ’90s.
“Gabrielle reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose to figure out as much information as we [could] to make sure we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.” You can watch the full clip here.
Dwyane Wade’s 11-year-old son Zion celebrates gay pride at the Miami Pride Parade. His brother Zaire Wade and stepmom Gabrielle Union-Wade were there to support him.
— Tia A. Ewing (@TIA_EWING) April 8, 2019
The superstar married couple have issued their public support for Zaya many times in the past. Gabrielle posted several Instagram stories of them having a blast during Miami Pride in April 2019 that was also attended by her older brother Zaire Wade.