Retired NBA star, Dwyane Wade has revealed that his 12-year-old son Zion now identifies as a female, with the name, Zaya.
Dwyane Wade who had earlier spoken up about raising a gay child, with his wife Union sat down with Ellen DeGeneres with Zion who now goes by the name Zaya, to further speak on the issue. But it was Zaya who was speaking for the first time about her situation, as she shared some advice to those who may be going through similar situations.
Speaking on her case, she told Ellen DeGeneres that:
“What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re gonna try to be someone you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself, which is like the dumbest concept to me.
“It’s just like, be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is.”
She added, “Even through hard times, you gotta push through. It’s worth it when you reach that point of yourself.”
Gabrielle Union posted the video of Zaya talking about the announcement, saying “She’s compassionate, loving, whip-smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”
“Zion, born as a boy, came home and said, ‘Hey, so, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth.” Wade said on “The Ellen Show.”
“And, I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.'”
Wade discussed his support for Zaya and the LGBTQ+ community in a powerful interview with Ellen DeGeneres … saying he and Gabrielle couldn’t be more proud of her.
“We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So, when our child comes home with a question … 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.”
Wade has been incredibly outspoken about his support for Zaya … and clapped back at people criticizing her in a family photo back on Thanksgiving.
“Stupidity is a part of this world we live in — so I get it. But, here’s the thing — I’ve been chosen to lead my family, not y’all,” Wade said at the time.
“So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!”
In fact, Union and Zaire Wade took Zaya to the Miami Pride parade back in 2019.
Wade went on to explain, “I looked at her and said you are a leader … 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.”
The former Miami star, who was a guest on Stephen Jackson and Barnes’ “All The Smoke” podcast, when asked about the approach to parenting a gay son, said:
“I grew up with the same perspective as a lot of these people out here that’s a little ignorant. I grew up with a similar perspective,” Wade says. “And, you meet people along the way that help you take those glasses off and put on some different ones. Look through life through a different lens. That’s what my wife has been able to do. So, it’s been cool.”
revealed everything about having to be open-minded and accept things the way they have come. He said:
“I had to look myself in the mirror when my son at the time was 3 years old and me and my wife started having conversations about us noticing that he wasn’t on the boy vibe that Zaire [Wade’s other son] was on,” Wade said.
“And, I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son come home and tell you he’s gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act? It ain’t about him. He knows who he is. It’s about you. Who are you?’”
Wade says that conversation with himself wasn’t easy … the 37-year-old told Barnes and Jackson he grew up “ignorant” and had to lean on his wife to open his eyes.
“I grew up with the same perspective as a lot of these people out here that’s a little ignorant. I grew up with a similar perspective,” Wade says. “And, you meet people along the way that help you take those glasses off and put on some different ones. Look through life through a different lens. That’s what my wife has been able to do. So, it’s been cool.“
Wade has been very vocal in defending his son and his family from critics … and he tells Barnes and Jackson he feels a duty to be a voice for others who can’t speak up the way he can.
“Everybody get used to it, man,” Wade says. “This is the new normal. So if anybody different, we looked at as different. You know what I’m saying? The ones that don’t understand it. The ones that don’t get it. The ones that are stuck in a box. You’re different.
Not the people that are out here living their lives, man.”
As for how his son is handling it all … Wade said, “You want to talk about strength and courage? My 12-year-old has way more than I have.”
“You can learn something from your kids.“