Dwyane Wade explains his son Zion, 12, identifies as female goes by the name 'Zaya'
11 February 2020, 10:49 | Updated: 11 February 2020, 10:51
Wade says he and his wife Gabrielle Union are "proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community."
Dwyane Wade has spoken candidly about the gender journey of his son Zion, 12, who made the decision to identify as female and now goes by the name Zaya.
The basketball star, 38, opened up during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres about parenting Zaya, who he shares with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches.
Wade explained that he and his wife Gabrielle Union, 47, are "proud allies" of the LGBTQ+ community and detailed how the couple are educating themselves on the situation.
"First of all, me and my wife Gabrielle, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud allies as well..." he revealed on Ellen's show.
"Once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home… first, Zion. I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion. Zion, born as a boy, came home and said, “Hey, so I want to talk to you guys..."
Dwayne explained that Zion, who was born a boy, approached them one day and said: "I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya."
NBA star Wade continued, "We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question...
"Our child comes home with an issue, our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information we can, to give the best feedback we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.'"
Wade revealed that Gabrielle reached out to the cast of drama series 'Pose', which centres around NYC's African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the '80s and '90s.
"Gabrielle reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose to figure out as much information as we [could] to make sure we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self."
Last year, Wade hit back at trolled who mocked Zion after a family photo uploaded by Gabrielle showed him wearing fake nails and a crop top.
"I’ve seen some post-thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo. Stupidity is apart of this world we live in - so i get it," he tweeted. "But here’s the thing - I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!"