"Changed My Mentality"

Dwyane Wade had an honest conversation about fatherhood and fame during his recent talk with Oprah Winfrey for her Father’s Day OWN special, Honoring Our Kings, Celebrating Black Fatherhood. The retired NBA player delved into how his perspective changed after his daughter, Zaya Wade, came out as transgender.



“When you’re in the public eye, it gets nasty out there. And you, as an adult, will say, ‘I can take it,'” Dwyane shared with Oprah. “My child was 8-years-old when she came out to us,” the celebrity dad said. “She’s not ready for what the world has to say,” Wade revealed.

Dwyane Wade faced dozens of questions from the press after attending Miami PRIDE in 2019 with his wife, Gabrielle Union, and daughter. Many took Zaya’s attendance at the parade as a sign of her coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Dwyane, however, refrained from confirming anything out of respect for his daughter’s wishes. Zaya went public with her gender identity when the timing was right for her.


“Once Zaya got to that point, she was 12-years-old,” Dwyane shared with Oprah. “She wanted social media, she wanted to go out, she wanted to have friends, [and] she wanted to dress the way she wanted,” the celebrity father revealed.

“At that point, [I realized], ‘This isn’t about Zaya anymore. This is about us,'” Dwyane told Oprah. “‘Are we comfortable enough to show the world who our child is? Are we scared of what’s going to come from that?’ It changed my mentality. [I understood that] it’s not that everyone don’t (sic) support it. It’s that people don’t (sic) know about it.”

Oprah applauded Dwyane Wade for his transparency during their conversation. “Dwyane Wade was so open and honest,” the media mogul shared with Entertainment Tonight (ET).

“I couldn’t believe how honest he was,” Oprah continued. “He told us he had to go to therapy after he got home to actually learn to do it right. Because he was so used to being the center of attention, then coming home and now being not number one on the list, but being number five on the list in the house, sent the brother to therapy.”


You can catch Oprah’s Father’s Day special on the OWN app if you missed its airing last night.

Photo: Ayanna McKnight



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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