WATCH: Dwyane Wade On the Importance of Honoring His 12-Year-Old’s Gender Identity

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Feb 11, 2020

Former National Basketball Association star Dwyane Wade appeared on "The Ellen Show" on February 11 and talked about his and his wife’s reaction when their 12-year-old child Zaya said she wanted to publicly identify as a girl moving forward. "First of all, me and my wife Gabrielle Union are proud, when I say proud, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well," Wade told DeGeneres, who praised him for being open-hearted. 

Wade continued:

We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to them, to give them the best information that we can. And that doesn’t change because now sexuality is involved in it. So once Zaya, our 12-year-old came home and said, ‘Hey I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth,’…internally, it was our job to go out and get information…to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.

When DeGeneres asked if Wade feared the world’s reaction to Zaya living her best self out loud, he responded with what he told his daughter: "I looked at her and I said, ‘You are a leader. This is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’"

Watch the segment with Wade above, courtesy of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."