Dwyane Wade Opens up About Daughter Zaya, 12, Coming out as Transgender

Dwyane Wade is opening up about how and his family stepped up to support 12-year-old daughter Zaya after she came out as transgender to he and wife Gabrielle Union. During a sit-down with Ellen DeGeneres during her talk show on Tuesday, the former NBA player said both he and Union take their job as parenting a child in the LGBT+ community "very seriously."

"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," he said, as per Us Weekly. "We take our roles and our responsibilities as parents very seriously."

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."

Explaining that Zaya was "born as a boy," Wade told DeGeneres about the day she sat down with her mom and dad to reveal she was trans.

"[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,'" Wade remembered. "Now it's our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have."

To his daughter, the athlete recalled, "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."

Reaching out to the cast of Pose, FX's history-making series with the largest cast of transgender actors, Wade said he and his wife have been diligent in educating themselves on a deeper level.


He 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."

Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty