Dwyane Wade Confirms His Daughter Came Out As Transgender To Him And Gabrielle Union

Zion Wade now goes by Zaya and identifies as she/her.

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade attend Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019 at Barker Hangar on July 11, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

Zion Wade now goes by Zaya and identifies as she/her.

In a candid interview, Dwyane Wade opened up about his 12-year-old identifying as transgender. The basketball star spoke about how proud he and his wife, Gabrielle Union, are of the preteen.

Appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, in a clip uploaded to the show’s YouTube, Wade spoke candidly about the conversation his daughter Zaya, born Zion, had with him when she decided to come out. The 38-year-old spoke about the support he and Gabrielle have for their daughter.

“We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” the former Miami Heat guard said.

Their support spreads further than just their own family members as well. Wade described himself and Union as “proud allies” of the community. They take their responsibilities of educating and encouraging their daughter seriously.

Wade said he believes it’s the role of the parents to discuss any questions their children may have and offer “the best information” and give “the best feedback” about life’s many questions. He feels involving sexuality should not change how a parent handles their child’s inquiries.

The three-time NBA champion spoke to DeGeneres about Zaya first coming out to her parents.

“Once Zaya, our 12-year-old came home – originally Zion, born as a boy – and 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.'”

Wade raises the preteen along with her stepmother, Union. He has sole custody of Zaya after separating from her mother, Siovaughn Funches.

The NBA legend said that he and his wife want to be as educated on the matter as possible — both for themselves and for their daughter. Union used some of her connections in Hollywood to get more information. Wade said she contacted members of the TV show Pose, which is comprised of many transgender actors, to ask for some guidance.

He told the talk show host that they want as much information as possible to help Zaya “be her best self.”

The Miami Heat icon also brought up a conversation he had alone with his daughter, where he told her she is an inspiration. Wade described this as an “opportunity” for Zaya to become a “leader.” For now, he and his wife will be the spokespeople on her behalf, but he believes in the future she will be able to step up and share her message.

As reported by People, last April Wade and Union received some backlash online after posting photos Zaya with them at the Miami Pride Parade. Speaking to the publication, the father said his job was to offer support to his children.