Dwyane Wade reveals how going public with daughter Zaya’s journey has helped his own self-awareness: ‘I’m growing into the man that I’ve always dreamed of becoming’
Dwyane Wade is opening up about his family’s decision to go public with his daughter Zaya’s gender identity journey.
The former NBA star and wife Gabriel Union announced earlier week that his 12-year old child, born Zion, is transgender and wants to identify as a female named Zaya.
‘Well, we’re not the only family that deals with all the things we’ve spoken about,’ ‘Wade, 38, told ET on Thursday.
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Courageous: Dwyane Wade, 38, opened up and revealed why he and his family went public with daughter Zaya’s decision to come out as transgender
‘We’re not the only family that had to deal with surrogacy, to bring our daughter [Kaavia] into the world,’ the former Miami Heat Heat great added, in reference to his and Union’s struggle to welcome their daughter Kaavia to the world after years of failed IVF cycles and miscarriages.
‘We’re not the only family that’s had to deal with gender expression, gender identity, sexuality, with their child.’
‘We understand the position we’ve been put in,’ he explained, ‘especially in our community, and even though it’s not always a popular thing to speak out on issues that people are uncomfortable with or not as educated on, but this is the platform that God gave me and my family. So, we use it.’
Words of wisdom: : Gabrielle Union uploaded a video to social media on Tuesday showing her husband, Dwayne Wade, talking with Zaya about identity and being true to yourself
After Zaya reached out and said she wanted to be referred to with female pronouns, the Wades said they felt obligated to reach out and gather as much information as possible to make sure they could give their child the best opportunity to be her best self.
‘For me, it’s always about being able to adapt and being able to learn, and always being able to grow,’ the Illinois native said..
Wade then pointed out how his travels and experience have helped him open up his mind other ways of living in this thing we call life.
‘I think coming from the inner city of Chicago early on, I was kind of closed-minded on a lot of things. And I’ve been with my wife, traveling the world, meeting people, going to different places, I’ve learned to keep my mind open, keep my eyes open, keep my heart open, keep my thoughts open,’ he explained.
‘That’s what I’ve been trying to do as I’m growing into the man that I’ve always dreamed of becoming.’
Revelation: The former basketball great shared about his child coming out as transgender on The Ellen DeGeneres Show during Tuesday’s episode
Just days ago, during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show, Wade talked about the conversation he had when Zaya disclosed she wanted to identify as a female.
‘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,’ the sure-fire hall of fame basketball player recalled.
‘And so internally, now it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have.’
In a video uploaded by Union, Zaya discussed the reasoning behind her decision to come out as transgender.
Among the things she told her father during their talk: ‘What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re going to try to be someone you’re not?’
Along with Zaya, Wade also shares an 18-year-old son Zaire with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches. He also has a six-year-old son, Xavier, with Aja Metoyer.
Wade and Union welcomed their daughter Kaavia last year.
Going strong: Union and Wade, who have been married since August 2014, share daughter Kaavia , one, together