There are certain things that truly just warm your heart, and for us supportive parents to LGBTQ+ kids are certainly one of those things. With everything else going on in the world, it feels nothing short of amazing to watch Dwyane Wade, noted NBA star, talk about how he and his wife Gabrielle Union are not only supporting but also empowering their teenaged child 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 said in a new interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The spot was to promote a new ESPN documentary based on the basketball player, called D Wade: Life Unexpected. “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 now that sexuality [and gender] is involved.”
In December, Wade did an interview where he referred to the 12-year-old with she/her pronouns. Now, Wade has revealed that one day the child came home and sat Wade and Union down and asked not only to be referred to with those pronouns, but to also be called Zaya, as she comes into her identity.
“So internally it’s our job to one go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have, ” Wade said of his reaction “My wife reached out to everyone on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self.” Pose, notably, is staffed with many queer and trans people of color in front of and behind the camera, who likely could lend Wade and the rest of the family some advice.
“I looked at her and said you are a leader,” Wade continued, explaining his conversation with Zaya. “It’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice. Right now, it’s through us because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.” DeGeneres went on to note that Wade and his family are currently also doing with with GLSEN, an organization that not only fights discrimination, harassment and bullying against LGBTQ+ individuals, but also works, in general, to make schools a more accepting place for queer and trans kids.
The ESPN documentary D Wade: Life Unexpected, airs Sunday, February 23