Fri | Jun 5, 2020

D Wade hopes trans daughter’s decision will help families

Published:Wednesday | February 19, 2020 | 12:31 AM
Dwyane Wade poses for a photo with his wife, Gabrielle Union, nephew, Dahveon Morris, and children, Kaavia James Union Wade, Zion (Zaya) Wade, Zaire Wade, and Xavier Wade.
Dwyane Wade poses for a photo with his wife, Gabrielle Union, nephew, Dahveon Morris, and children, Kaavia James Union Wade, Zion (Zaya) Wade, Zaire Wade, and Xavier Wade.

NBA superstar Dwyane Wade hopes his daughter’s decision to come out as transgender will help other families. He says he “struggled” to know how much he wanted to talk about 12-year-old Zaya’s journey in his new documentary D. Wade: Life Unexpected but ultimately felt it was important to shine the spotlight on her because other people will be going through similar experiences.

Speaking on ‘Good Morning America’, Wade said: “I struggled on how much I wanted to talk about it in the doc.

“I actually didn’t talk about it a lot, but I knew if I put it in the doc at all, it would be a big conversation ... .

“We struggled with what people would say about a 12-year-old making a decision about her life. But we also know our child.

Inspiring

“We’ve been through so many different things that other people and other families go through and they thank us for speaking out on it.

“That’s what we’re trying to do. We know there are other families out there dealing with their kid finding themselves and learning who they are.”

The 38-year-old sportsman – who has Zaya, and Zaire, 18, with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, as well as six-year-old Xavier with Aja Metoyer, and 15-month-old Kaavia with spouse Gabrielle Union – admitted his daughter has been figuring out who she was since she was just three years old and recalled the “process” of helping her while trying to follow her lead.

He said: “Zaya, early on, knew two things: She knew straight and she knew gay.

“But Zaya started doing more research. She is the one who sat down with us, as a family, and said, ‘Hey, I don’t think I’m gay.’ She went down a list and said, ‘This is how I identify myself. This is my gender identity. I identity myself as a young lady. I identify as straight trans because I like boys.’

“It was a process for us to sit down with our daughter and find out who she is and what she likes and not put something on her because, as parents, we put our hopes and we put our fears on our kids.

“With Zaya, we decided to listen to her and she’s leading us on this journey.”