Watch CBS News

Dwyane Wade shares touching moment his child Zaya came out as transgender

Gender: The Space Between
CBS Reports presents Gender - The Space Between 30:51

Dwyane Wade is committed to giving his 12-year-old child "the best opportunity to be her best self." During an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Tuesday, the retired basketball star and proud father of four opened up about the moment one of his children came out as transgender.

"Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — 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. 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,'" Wade revealed.

"Once Zaya came home and said, 'Call me Zaya,' and 'I'm ready to take on this,' I looked at her and said, 'You are a leader. It's our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,'" Wade said. 

Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union have been strongly supportive of Zaya, who has faced criticism from online bullies. Last year, Union attended Miami Beach Pride Festival with Zaya and the couple designed a T-shirt that promotes inclusion and equality.

"Me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we are proud allies as well," Wade told DeGeneres. "We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it's our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information we can, the best feedback we can. And that doesn't change because sexuality is now involved in it."

Dwyane Wade’s Candid Talk About Supporting His 12-Year-Old's Gender Identity by TheEllenShow on YouTube

The Miami Heat legend also shared how Zaya's news prompted him and his wife to action.

"That was our job, to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife reached out to everybody on the cast of 'Pose,'" he said, referring to the FX drama series centered around LGBTQ characters. 

"We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self."

DeGeneres lauded the star for his unconditional support of his child.

"What every parent should be is what you're being now — which is unconditionally loving your child and supporting your child in whoever they are," she said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.