Dwyane Wade Recalled Having To Let Go Of Wanting Zaya Wade To Become A Basketball Player After She Came Out To Him As Trans

“See what happens when you start making plans for other people's lives? That’s her journey.”

Dwyane Wade is continuing to publicly support his 16-year-old daughter, Zaya Wade.

Zaya and Dwyane Wade

For those who don’t know, Zaya came out as transgender when she was 12 years old, back in 2020. At the time, Dwyane recalled Zaya coming home one day and saying, “‘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.’”

Closeup of Zaya Wade on the red carpet

This year, however, Dwyane opened up about Zaya’s coming out in a little more detail, revealing that her visible fear to confide in him left him reevaluating himself as a parent.

Closeup of Dwyane Wade sitting onstage and speaking during a panel

“I came home, and I just remember my daughter — my child — being scared to talk to me, like hiding in my wife’s arm in the chair,” he said at a Creative Artists Agency Amplify event in June. “I think I’m just the dad that’s like, ‘Hey, come and tell me anything. I’m a cool dad.’”

Closeup of Dwyane Wade

“It was fear in my child's face to tell me,” he went on. “I had to check myself… Because maybe I ain’t what I think I am. I haven’t done what I think. I had to go look at myself in the mirror and ask myself, ‘Why was my child scared? Scared to tell me something about herself?’”

Closeup of Zaya

“I had to go look at myself in the mirror and ask myself... What is it about my masculinity that has my child afraid?” he added.

Closeup of Dwyane Wade

Dwyane and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have long been praised for their fierce support of Zaya’s gender identity, as well as for repeatedly defending her against backlash.

Closeup of Gabrielle and Dwyane

And now, Dwyane has once again defended Zaya’s transition, stating on the Club Shay Shay podcast that he actually feels as though she “hasn’t transitioned into anything” but childhood to young adulthood.

Closeup of Zaya Wade

“A lot of people like to talk about Zaya’s transition, but to me, Zaya hasn't transitioned into anything but a kid and now going into young adulthood,” he said.

Closeup of Zaya Wade walking a runwayway show

“I’ve watched her go through life. There hasn't been no transition at all,” he went on. “There’s been a transition for the world, but for us, I see the same kid.”

Closeup of Zaya Wade and Gabrielle Union

Elsewhere on the podcast, Dwyane candidly recalled having to let go of his dream of Zaya following his footsteps and becoming a professional basketball player.

Closeup of Dwyane Wade

Dwyane began by explaining that he welcomed Zaya around the same time that fellow athlete LeBron James had his son Bryce, and Carmelo Anthony had Kiyan.

Dwyane Wade and LeBron James side-by-side

“I have Zaya. LeBron has Bryce. Melo has Kiyan. All within a two to three-week span. All our kids are gonna grow up hooping together. Oh we on! Boy we gonna have three babies! We on!” he recalled thinking.

Dwyane Wade onstage

However, as Dwyane noted, things changed after he watched Zaya growing into herself.

Closeup of Zaya Wade on the red carpet in a crop top and shorts with a matching jacket

“Then I got to meet my child,” he said, while quipping, “See what happens when you start making plans for other people's lives? That’s her journey.”

Closeup of Dwyane Wade

Reacting to the podcast clip online, several users praised Dwyane for his support of Zaya.

Closeup of Dwyane Wade

“Respect this man for sticking by his child and prioritizing his child’s emotional needs first! Speaks volumes about him,” one person wrote. “‘It was a transition for the world, not for us.’ He just knew her as his kid. That’s nothing but a father’s pure love,” someone else added.

Closeup of Dwyane Wade

You can listen to the Club Shay Shay podcast here.

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