Dwyane Wade spoke about his daughter Zaya’s gender identity to help other families going through similar experiences.
The daughter of the sportsman, whose stepmother is actress Gabrielle Union, was previously known as Zion, and recently told them she’d “love for you guys to call me Zaya”. Explaining why he decided to speak about his family’s experience during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this week, the former professional basketball player told Entertainment Tonight: “Well, we’re not the only family that deals with all the things we’ve spoken about.
“We’re not the only family that had to deal with surrogacy, to bring our daughter (Kaavia) into the world. We’re not the only family that’s had to deal with gender expression, gender identity, sexuality, with their child.”
Explaining that he and Gabrielle “understand the position we’ve been put in, especially in our community,” he added of life in the public eye: “This is the platform that God gave me and my family… So, we use it.
“For me, it’s always about being able to adapt and being able to learn, and always being able to grow,” the 38-year-old added. “I think coming from the inner city of Chicago early on, I was kind of closed-minded on a lot of things. And I’ve been with my wife, travelling the world, meeting people, going to different places, I’ve learned to keep my mind open, keep my eyes open, keep my heart open, keep my thoughts open.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to do as I’m growing into the man that I’ve always dreamed of becoming.”
Zaya has since spoken about her experience of coming out, urging other transgender kids to “push through, and you be the best you and especially more recently, it’s become more accepting.”
Dwyane shares Zaya with his ex Siohvaughn Funches, whom he married to from 2002 to 2010.