Dwyane Wade is always there for his daughter, but he recently opened out about his anxieties as a parent of a transgender child, Zaya Wade.
“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house,” the former NBA star told CNN on Tuesday. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”
The former Miami Heat player also addressed anti-trans politics, encouraging lawmakers to walk a day in the shoes of his 15-year-old daughter Zaya.
“To me, it’s a joke. This is our life. We live this. When you’re out there making rules, if you’re not experiencing this,” Wade remarked. “Come and live a day with my daughter. Come and see how it is to walk through this world like her.”
While expressing his displeasure with transphobic laws, he also thanked Zaya for the lessons she has taught him during her gender identity journey.
“I went years without telling my chef that 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 daughter, at eight years old, had the confidence to say, ‘This is who I am. This is who I want to be.’”
In February 2020, Wade revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Zaya’s gender identity.
“First of all, me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well,” Wade said at the time. “We take our roles and our responsibilities as parents very seriously.”
He noted that “it’s our job as parents to listen [to any questions or issues their children may have], to “give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”
Wade then recalled when Zaya came out to him and Gabrielle.
“[She] said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” he told DeGeneres. “Now it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have.”
Dwyane concluded, “We’re just trying to figure out as much information as possible to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”