In a new interview with Good Morning America, Dwayne Wade recounts how he struggled, at first, to open up about his daughter Zaya's transition.
Dwyane Wade and his daughter Zaya have been making headlines over the last week due to the revelation that Zaya is trans and identifies as a female. At 12 years old, Zaya has been able to recognize her gender identity and has been making strides to educate her parents on how she feels. Wade has taken this all in stride and has been as supportive as one could imagine.
Recently, Wade sat down with Robin Roberts Good Morning America where he spoke on his brand new documentary. D.Wade: Life Unexpected takes a look at the basketball player’s hectic life. Zaya is a major part of the documentary and as Wade described, he felt a little uneasy about talking about her transition, at first.
“I struggled on how much I wanted to talk about it in the doc,” Wade said. “I actually didn’t talk about it a lot, but I knew if I put it in the doc at all, it would be a big conversation…We struggled with what people would say about a 12-year-old making a decision about her life. But we also know our child.”
Eventually, Wade came around on the idea of opening up because he knew it would help people out there. He figured that if people were going through something similar, they would be able to relate to him and his family’s story.
“We’ve been through so many different things that other people and other families go through and they thank us for speaking out on it,” Wade said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. We know there are other families out there dealing with their kid finding themselves and learning who they are.”
Wade says Zaya was very self-aware of herself early on and new that she was different from everyone else. The former basketball star says Zaya would talk things out with her parents often which eventually led to her discovery. Thanks to the power of research, Zaya was able to learn about herself and it eventually made it a lot easier to talk with her parents.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
“Zaya, early on, knew two things: She knew straight and she knew gay,” Wade went on to say. “But Zaya started doing more research. She is the one who sat down with us, as a family, and said, ‘Hey, I don’t think I’m gay.’ She went down a list and said, ‘This is how I identify myself. This is my gender identity. I identify myself as a young lady. I identify as straight trans because I like boys.'”
Admittedly, Wade says he needed to check himself once Zaya came out as he needed to fully understand what she was going through. Throughout his career, Wade has used words in the locker room that would be regarded as offensive in today's climate. Being aware of that, Wade says he knew he had to change his behaviors in order to become a better father. Needless to say, Wade has come a long way over the years and will do absolutely anything to make sure his child feels loved.