Former NBA star Dwyane Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, are being wildly praised among the LGBTQ community after revealing their 12-year-old daughter is 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,” Mr. Wade told host Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday’s “Ellen.”
“We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously,” he said. “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.”
Mr. Wade said his daughter, Zaya, who he shares with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, was born a boy 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 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,'” the former basketball player recalled.
“So, now it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have,” 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.”
Mrs. Union on Tuesday tweeted a video introducing Zaya to the world. In the video, which has been viewed more than 6 million times, Zaya tells her father, “What’s the point of being on this earth is you’re going to try to be someone you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself, which is the dumbest concept to me.”
The celebrity couple garnered a wave of praise for the way they handled their daughter’s coming out, including Ms. DeGeneres, who called Mr. Wade a “parenting all-star.”
#Zaya also became a top trending on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
.@DwyaneWade is an NBA All-Star. Now he’s a parenting all-star as well. pic.twitter.com/GlBL897qYs— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 11, 2020
Gender nonconforming children deserve to be heard, loved, and supported in their authenticity. @DwyaneWade + @itsgabrielleu continue to demonstrate phenomenal parenting with their love for Zaya! https://t.co/2OCsKPWN5m— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) February 11, 2020
Everyone deserves a father like Dwyane Wade. It shouldn’t make me cry so hard to listen to him talk about the simple act of loving his child.
— Beyoncé Luther Queen Jr. (@Danez_Smif) February 11, 2020
Dwyane Wade is one hell of a father https://t.co/IlANqq43Aa— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) February 11, 2020
Shoutout to @DwyaneWade & @itsgabrielleu for refusing to deny themselves one of life’s greatest opportunities: learning from your own child. And an even bigger shoutout to Zaya for being courageous enough to lead them.— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) February 11, 2020
Seeing all the supportive tweets to/about Zaya and Gab/DWade just actually made me a bit emotional. Honestly can’t imagine seeing this kind of public, vocal love & positivity for an LGBTQ child/person, especially a queer child/person of color, during my youth in ’80s–early 2000s pic.twitter.com/k5xIO1ztdh— Mark Sundstrom (@106th) February 11, 2020
I love the parenting that @itsgabrielleu and Dwyane Wade are demonstrating in support of young Zaya and her truth. You love to see it.— roxane gay (@rgay) February 11, 2020
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