Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are “proud parents” fully ready to support their child coming into their gender identity. Wade went on “The Ellen Show” recently to explain this, considering their 12-year-old, who was named Zion, is now going by Zaya.
“First of all, me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well,” Wade told Ellen. “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 because sexuality [and gender] is now involved in it.”
“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 would love for you guys to call me Zaya.’ And so internally, now is our job to one go out and get information.”
Wade then explained that he and Union reached out to every relationship they have in order to get more information about gender and gender identity. He said Union even reached out to the cast of “Pose”, the acclaimed FX show that broke grounds as having the largest transgender cast ever for a scripted series, according to Deadline.
“We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self,” continued Wade. He also went on to say that once Zaya had the conversation with her parents, Wade looked at her and said, “you are a leader.”
“It’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice. Right now, it’s through us because she’s 12 years old,” Wade told Ellen. “But eventually it will be through her.” Ellen explained that Wade and his family are also doing work with GLSEN, an organization that fights harassment, discrimination and bullying against LGBTQ+ people. They also fight to make schools a more safe and accepting place for queer and trans youth.
Wade appeared on “Ellen” to promote his documentary for ESPN called “D Wade: Life Unexpected”, which airs on Sunday, February 23. You can check out more of his interview with Ellen below.