Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. As a three-time champ, one-time Finals MVP and 13-time All-Star – his on-the-court legacy is etched in stone.
Off the court, however, Wade has similarly been making a name for himself for his exceptional parenting skills. Specifically, with his handling of his trans daughter, Zaya.
Zaya, who is now 14 years old, came out as trans in 2020. Recently, Wade spoke out about how the decision impacted his family.
“At three years old, me and my wife looked at each other and said, ‘What if? What if Zaya comes home – at the time, the name was Zion – if Zion comes home and says ‘Dad I’m gay…’ What are you gonna do, sir?”
Why did Wade wonder about this? Because he used to also enjoy dressing up in heels and dresses.
“The reason we looked at each other is because… as kids, I used to put on heels, I used to put on, I used to do all those things,” he said.
“I’d try to put on, whatever my sisters wear, whatever my sisters did, I’d try to do those things. So at first, I said to myself, ‘Ah no, I did that. Zion is just doing the things I did. And then it went further and further and me and my wife had to look at each other and say ‘What if?’”
In the end, Wade just pledged to be supportive of his child no matter what.
“Just being a father, just seeing our child grow up every day and doing what you’re supposed to do as a parent is to make sure that you sit back and you see what it is in life that they want to do, and you try to go there with them and try to help mold them into what it is they want to be and who they want to be,” Wade said.
Dwyane Wade offers advice to dads who have trans children pic.twitter.com/sGvAj2xffw
— Variety (@Variety) May 3, 2022
“So we’re just doing our part as parents and we love our kids and we get to see them every day. That’s what people on the outside don’t get to see, but we know them and see them all the time.”
Wade has been a fierce defender of his child for some time. When one of the biggest rappers in the game took aim at Zaya, the Heat legend wasn’t having it.
She went from making 5 figures in 5 years to 6 figures in 1 month. https://t.co/5JWmQ4Sc3r
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 3, 2022
Clearly Wade is a very doting parent, due in no small part to his personal experiences.
Whatever happens with Zaya from here on out, it must feel good to know your father loves you and will protect you no matter what.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.