Dwyane Wade has opened up about his daughter, Zaya, identifying as transgender.
“Me and my wife, my wife Gabrielle Union…we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well,” he told host Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday’s “Ellen.” “We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously.”
The retired NBA star explained that Zaya was born as Zion, assigned male at birth, but wanted to live her truth. Wade shares Zaya with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches.
“Zion, born as a boy, came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I am ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her.’ I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,'” Wade recalled.
He 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 said he and Union also reached out to the cast of “Pose” to educate themselves on the LGBTQ+ community.
“Now it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have,” Wade said. “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.”
Union also took to Twitter on Tuesday with a video and warm message to introduce Zaya.
“Meet Zaya. She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people,” Union wrote.
In the video, Wade and Zaya ride in a golf cart talking, with Zaya telling her dad, “You gotta just push through, I mean it’s worth it, I feel like it’s very worth it, when you reach that point of like, yourself.”