Dwyane Wade has discussed his child’s gender journey after his son Zion, 12, made the decision to identify as female and now goes by the name Zaya.
The basketball pro, 38, spoke candidly in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, which is set to air Tuesday, in which he further discussed parenting Zaya as well as revealing he sought help in the cast of Pose for help with addressing the situation.
Dwyane, who shares Zaya with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, detailed how he and his current wife Gabrielle Union had to educate themselves about the LGBTQ community and said they are ‘proud parents and allies’ of the child.
Dwyane told the NBC chat show host: ‘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…
‘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…
‘”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 went on: ‘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.’
Dwyane said that while Zion was born a boy, one day he came home and told them: ‘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.”
Dwyane said he and Gabrielle knew they had to allow Zaya to have her voice.
In a touching move, Gabrielle reached out to the cast of Pose – the FX drama which details NYC’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 1980s and early 1990s.
He went on: ‘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.’
Wade and Union married in 2014 and welcomed their daughter Kaavia via surrogate in November 2018.
In December, Dwyane was forced to hit back at trolls who criticised Zaya for wearing a crop top and fake nails: ‘I watched my son from day one becoming to who she now eventually is coming to.’
Last year, Gabrielle posted a Thanksgiving picture while posing with Dwyane, their daughter Kaavia and Zaya.
Zaya was wearing a crop top and fake nails leading to online trolling that Dwyane responded to by writing that ‘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!’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Rachel McGrath