Meet Dwyane Wade’s Transgender Daughter, Zaya

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are learning
so much from their 12-year-old child Zaya. And by taking the opportunity to listen to
their younger loved one, Wade and Union are setting an example for parents everywhere. As the retired NBA player shared during an
interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in February 2020, Wade’s daughter from a previous relationship,
Zaya, has come out as a transgender girl. The 38-year-old is speaking out about Zaya’s
gender identity in support of his daughter’s desire to live as her most authentic self. Wade isn’t the only supportive parent Zaya
has going for her. Posting a video of Zaya and Wade chatting
about life in a golf cart, Union announced on Instagram, “Meet Zaya. She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and
we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your
children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.” Soon after, the internet was flooded with
love and admiration for the famous family – but the outpouring of support also came
along with some sadly not surprising instances of criticism and transphobia. In the wake of all the amplified attention
on their family over his child’s momentous announcement, Wade tweeted, “We don’t claim to have all the answers but
we are committed to learning and loving and being good allies and better parents.” In the Instagram video of Zaya and her dad
having a heart-to-heart, the 12-year-old spoke about her decision to go public with her transition,
emphasizing the importance of authenticity. She shared advice for others who are afraid
of being judged. “Just be true to yourself. Because what’s the point of being on this
earth if you’re gonna try to be someone you’re not? It’s like, you’re not even living as yourself.” When Wade asked whether that stance still
stands when others are being mean or hurtful, Zaya wisely responded, “I know it can get tough definitely, but I
think you push through and you be the best you.” In a recent Good Morning America interview,
Wade revealed Zaya has known about and expressed her gender identity since the age of 3. But while the famous parents have been supportive
allies, figuring out how best to parent a transgender child has involved a natural learning
curve for the family. Luckily, Zaya did her research, and helped
them figure it all out together. As Wade recalled, “She went down the list and said, y’know,
‘This is how I identify myself. This is my gender identity. I identify myself as a young lady.” Ultimately, Wade made clear, quote, “She’s
leading us along this journey.” If there’s one big takeaway from Wade and
Union sharing Zaya’s journey publicly, it’s that they’re prioritizing her happiness. On Good Morning America, Wade said, “This is no game to us. We’re about protecting her heart, we’re about
protecting her joy and to do that, we have to support them.” And during his Ellen DeGeneres Show interview,
Wade shared, “Me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud
parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community. And we are proud allies as well.” Wade’s son Zaire posted a message for his
sister on Instagram, too. Along with childhood photos, Zaire wrote, “I have been blessed to have my best friend,
Zaya with me for 12 years. We did everything together…we fought, we
played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each
other behind… I’ve told you that I would lay my life down
to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth. I don’t care what they think Z, you are my
best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there’s no love
lost on this side.” In yet another public show of support, the
family attended Miami Pride in April 2019. While Wade missed the event because of basketball,
he shared a message of support on Instagram, writing, “Wish I was there to see you smile kid!” Although Wade and Union are setting an example
and opening up an important conversation, they’re the first to admit they’re not perfect
– it’s a learning experience for them as well. On February 11th, Union tweeted, “Huge huge huge THANK YOU to everyone whose
dms I slid into, friends, & family who provided information, resources, love & encouragement. We are humble LGBTQ+ allies with ALOT to learn
& grateful for all the support. We encourage yall to check us as needed.” “The biggest thing is, have an open mind. Go out and research, ask your child, ask other
people questions.” At the end of the day, Wade and Union aren’t
the only ones learning from Zaya’s commitment to authenticity. Fans all across the country are being taught
a thing or two about the power of family support and living life as your true self. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your
favorite celebs are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.


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