Dwyane Wade embraces daughter's coming out: 'We are proud parents'

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Dwyane Wade is "proud" of his daughter Zaya and her decision to come out as transgender.

The 38-year-old retired basketball star voiced his support for Zaya during Tuesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show after the 12-year-old's coming out.


Wade is parent to Zaya and son Zaire, 18, with Siohvaughn Funches, son Xavier, 6, with Aja Metoyer, and daughter Kaavia, 15 months, with his wife, actress Gabrielle Union.

"Me and my wife, my wife Gabrielle Union ... we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we're proud allies as well," Wade told host Ellen DeGeneres. "We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously."

"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," he added. "And that doesn't change because sexuality is now involved in it."


Wade explained how Zaya now goes by she/her pronouns, and recalled the moment of the 12-year-old's coming out.

"I don't know if everyone knows, [Zaya was] originally named Zion," he said. "Zion, born as a boy, came home and said, 'Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I am ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as 'she' and 'her.' I would love for you guys to call me Zaya."

Wade said he and Union have been working to educate themselves, including by reaching out to the cast of the FX series Pose, which features several LGBTQ actors.

"We're 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," Wade said.

Wade previously discussed Zaya during an episode of the All the Smoke podcast in December, saying her coming out has not affected his love for her.

"I've watched my son, from day one, become into who she now eventually has come into," he said. "Nothing changes with my love, nothing changes with my responsibilities."

Wade retired from the NBA in April after playing for the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls during his career. The Miami Heat will retire Wade's jersey at a ceremony Feb. 22.

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