By Jan Carlo Anolin
Retired NBA player and Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade is one proud parent and ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
Wade spoke about his 12-year-old child coming out as a transgender in a televised interview with Ellen DeGeneres Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
The former Heat star recalled how Zaya – originally named Zion and was assigned male at birth – came out to Wade and stepmother Gabrielle Union.
‘”Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth,” Wade said, citing Zaya during “The Ellen Show.” “And I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.”
Wade said, together with Union, they are taking their roles and responsibilities as parents “very seriously” and stressed that “doesn’t change” just because sexuality is involved.
“It’s our job [to go] out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have,” the three-time NBA champion said.
“We [are] 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.”
It was also a proud parent moment for Union after posting a video Tuesday about her daughter on Twitter.
“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,” Union said.
The video showed Zaya and Wade’s conversation about “living life as true to yourself” while riding a golf cart.
“What’s the point in being on this Earth if you’re gonna try to be someone you’re not,” the 12-year-old Zaya said in the video.
“Just be true and don’t really care what the ‘stereotypical way’ of being you is. I think you [will] push through and you [will] be the best you.”
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. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 11, 2020
In a separate tweet, Union expressed gratitude to friends, family and people who messaged her for the support.
“We are humble LGBTQ+ allies with [a lot] to learn & grateful for all the support. We encourage [y’all] to check us as needed,” Union said.
Zaya is Wade’s daughter with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches.