Dwayne Wade Opens Up About His 12-Year-Old Coming Out as Transgender

Wade talked with Ellen DeGeneres about embracing his 12-year-old's gender identity

Dwayne Wade Opens Up About His 12-Year-Old Coming Out as Trans
Dwyane Wade attends Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty)
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On an episode of the Ellen DeGeneres Show that aired on Tuesday, retired NBA star Dwayne Wade opened up to the host about the moment his 12-year-old child came out as transgender.

Zaya, born as a boy named Zion, simply came home one day and told Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union that she was “ready to live my truth” and would like to be referred to with female pronouns moving forward.

“I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. It’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’” Wade recalled. “Right now, it’s through us because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”


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Since then, Wade and Union have made it a priority to educate themselves about the LGBTQ+ community, an effort that has included reaching out to cast members of the FX show Pose, a drama series centered around black and Latino LGBTQ characters.

“That was our job, to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have,” Wade said. “We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to make sure we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”


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Wade, who is also the father of 18-year-old Zaire and six-year-old Xavier, and Union just welcomed daughter Kaavia in November 2018.

“First of all, me and my wife… are proud… parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well,” he said. “And we take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”

Here’s the segment:

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