"She's The Strong One In This Family"

Dwyane Wade sees his daughter, Zaya Wade, as a hero. The retired NBA player recently spoke with Craig Melvin on the 3rd Hour of Today about his journey as a father of a child who identifies as transgender.


“I didn’t know anything, I really wasn’t knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community,” Dwyane told Craig. “What it has done is it opened my eyes and my ears to something greater and bigger than I, and my daughter has allowed us gracefully to be her support system.”

Zaya Wade attended the PRIDE parade in Miami two years ago, which sent shockwaves across the Internet. The youngster had not officially come out as transgender but such did not stop the public from drawing conclusions. Many media outlets attempted to confirm Zaya’s gender identity with her father. Dwyane Wade, however, remained silent on the matter until Zaya was ready to go public with her truth.

“She’s the strong one in this family. She’s a hero,” Wade said of his daughter during his interview on 3rd Hour of Today. “It’s our family’s job to make sure that we listen to her,” the celebrity father added. “We listen to the doctors. We ask questions and we formulate our own ideas of how Zaya should be and should be raised in this world and we don’t allow others to do that for us.”


Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have one biological child, Kaavia James, together. Dwyane also has an older son named Zaire and a nephew, Dahveon, who he fathers as his own. The age difference between all of the kids living in the Wade house is fairly broad. Kaavia is a toddler, while Zaya is a teen. Dahveon and Zaire are young adults.

“[I’ve] been able to see kids in different generations at different times, in different parts of places in my life,” Dwyane said when discussing the age range of his kids with Craig. “It’s helped me grow a lot,” the celebrity father added. “It’s helped me be a better parent and be a better person because I’ve seen all kids are not alike, and you can’t treat them as such.”

Photo: Dwyane Wade/Instagram



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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