Dwyane Wade always has his daughter’s back – but he also got real about his fears as a parent of a transgender child.
“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I still fear that she will leave the house at any moment,” the former NBA star, 40, told CNN at the TIME100 summit on Tuesday 7 June about his daughter Zaya, 15. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people see her in this world.”
The Miami Heat alum also addressed anti-transpolitics, inviting lawmakers to experience what his oldest daughter is doing by spending a day in her shoes.
“To me it’s a joke. This is our life. We live this. If you make rules there, if you don’t experience this,” Wade noted. “Come and live with my daughter for a day. Come and see what it is like to walk through this world like her.”
While expressing his fears and anger at transphobic laws, retired athlete also praised Zaya for the lessons she taught him on her journey to gender identity.
“I’ve gone years without telling my chef I don’t like cilantro on my burger — as an adult it took me years to have the confidence to say that,” Wade revealed. “My 8-year-old daughter had the confidence to say, ‘This is who I am. This is who I want to be.’”
In addition to Zaya and her brother Zaire, 20 (both of whom he shares with ex- Siohvaughn Funches), Wade is also father to son Xavier, 8 (with whom he shares) basketball women alum Just Metoyer) and daughter Kaavia, 3 (whom he shares with wife Gabrielle Union†
The professional basketball player initially revealed Zaya’s gender identity on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in February 2020.
“First of all, me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we are also proud allies,” Wade said at the time, noting: “We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very deeply. serious.”
He noted that “our job as parents is to listen” [to any questions or issues their children may have]to “give them the best information we can, the best feedback we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved.”
Wade remembered Zaya reaching out to him and Union.
†[She] said, “Hey, so I want to talk to you. I think in the future I will be ready to live my truth. And I want to be called as she and her. I would like you to call me Zaya,” he said DeGeneres64. “Now our job is to go out and get information, to connect with every relationship we have.”
He concluded, “We’re just trying to get as much information as possible to make sure we’re giving our child the best chance of being her best self.”