Dwyane Wade Reveals His 12-Year-Old Will Go By The Name Zaya & Use Female Pronouns
“This is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice”…
NBA legend Dwayne Wade has revealed that his 12-year-old child will use the name Zaya moving forward. Wade discussed his support for Zaya and the LGBTQ+ community in a powerful interview with Ellen DeGeneres … saying he and his wife actress Gabrielle Union couldn’t be more proud of her.
“Our 12-year-old came home—first Zion, I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion, born as a boy—came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m 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 three-time NBA champion shared with the audience.
He also explained the importance of creating a loving environment in order to provide Zaya with “the best opportunity to be her best self.”
“Me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Wade said. “And we’re proud allies as well. We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So 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 now that sexuality [or gender] is now involved in it.”
In creating that environment, the recently retired NBA legend acknowledged that the onus falls on him and Union as parents to educate themselves on the challenges Zaya faces.
“Internally, it’s our job to, one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have, ” Wade explained. “My wife reached out to everyone on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self.”
The 38-year-old also made it a point to share how proud he is of Zaya and how her decision to come out provides her with the opportunity to empower others.
“Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’” Wade recalled. “Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”