Ex Basketball Star publically supports transgender daughter

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Age: 62
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12 Feb 2020, 8:57 pm

Dwyane Wade opens up about how he and Gabrielle Union support their child’s gender identity

Dwyane Wade opened up to Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday about supporting his 12-year-old child’s decision to use she/her pronouns. The former Miami Heat player, along with his wife, Gabrielle Union, have become vocal advocates for supportive parenting of children in the LGBTQ community.

Wade appeared on DeGeneres’ talk show to promote an upcoming documentary but, prompted by the host, began by underscoring his and Union’s responsibility as “proud parents” and “proud allies” to listen to any issues their child might face, and to then provide “the best feedback that we can.”

“And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved,” Wade continued, referring to the gender identity of their child, whose birth gender is male, as Wade clarified for unaware audience members. She now uses feminine pronouns and goes by the name Zaya.

One day, Wade recalled, his child “came home and said, ‘Hey, call me Zaya, and I’m ready to take on this.’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. You are a leader, and it’s our 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.”

After Zaya came out to her parents, Wade said, Union reached out to seek guidance from actors who appear on “Pose,” an FX series about 1980s ballroom culture that has been celebrated for its inclusive cast. It made history a few years ago for assembling the largest cast of transgender actors to ever hold regular roles in a scripted series. The Wades are also public supporters of the advocacy organization GLSEN, which works to end bullying and discrimination against LGBTQ students nationwide.

Wade and Union are also parents to Zaire, 18; Xavier, 6; and Kaavia, 1. (The three oldest children are Wade’s from previous relationships.) They have defended Zaya online, such as this past Thanksgiving, when Union posted a photo in which Zaya is seen wearing a crop top and long nails. Wade tweeted days later that he had seen “hate on social about my family photo.”

“Stupidity is apart of this world we live in,” he wrote. “But here’s the thing – I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!”

Wade expressed a similar sentiment in April, when he uploaded a photo of Zaya and Union at the Miami Beach Pride march to his Instagram story with the caption, “We support each other with Pride!” The post prompted an outpouring of praise online for, as one Twitter user put it, their “unconditional love” of Zaya. Speaking about the march to Variety magazine, Wade later stated that he is “uneasy about the accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it.”

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