Dwyane Wade, an NBA legend, revealed that his 12-year-old now identifies as female and that she has asked him and his wife, Gabrielle Union, to start calling her Zaya. He discussed his support for Zaya’s decision during a segment on “The Ellen Show.”
On the show, Wade said, “Zion, born as a boy, came home 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.”
Luckily for Zaya, her parents were more than ready to stand behind her decision. “We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously,” explained Wade.
“So, when our child comes home with a question, it’s our job as parents to listen to that and to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can, and that doesn’t change now that sexuality [and gender] is involved.”
When people criticized Zaya’s appearance in a recent Thanksgiving family photo, Wade clapped back, saying, “Stupidity is a part of this world we live in, so I get it. But, here’s the thing–I’ve been chosen to lead my family, not ya’ll.”
“So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love and a smile!”
Gabrielle Union posted a video of Zaya talking about her decision on Tuesday, writing, “She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s ok to listen to, love and respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”
In the video, Zaya explains, “What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re gonna try to be someone you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself, which is like, the dumbest concept to me.”
“It’s just like, be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is. Even through hard times, you gotta push through. It’s worth it when you reach that point of yourself.”
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