By Ryan ShepardMar 24, 2021
Future NBA Hall of Fame Inductee Dwyane Wade is thanking critics for pushing conversations about transgender kids forward.
During a recent conversation with former NFL stars Channing Crowder, Ryan Clark, Brandon Marshall and Fred Taylor, Wade spoke at length about the journey of parenting his daughter, Zaya Wade. Wade said that he began noticing that his oldest daughter may take a different journey to adulthood than he did at around 3 years old.
“People don’t want to hear this sh** and don’t believe this sh**,” he said.
“At three years old, me and my wife looked at each other and said, ‘What if?’ What if, at the time, the name was Zion, comes home one day and says, ‘Dad I’m gay,’ or ‘Dad, I’m this, I’m that.’ What are you going to do, sir?”
The former NBA star explained that his daughter’s teacher called him into the school a few years older. During a school exercise, Zaya Wade shared that she was gay. At that moment, Wade said that he was challenged to learn more and grow as a parent. Years later, Zaya Wade has grown into a youth leader for non-heterosexual and non-binary kids around the world. As parents, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have also stepped into the position of sharing their journeys as parents with the world.
With those roles, many have offered criticism, ignorant thoughts and sometimes, downright bigotry. Boosie has refused to refer to Zaya Wade by her proper gender. J-Boog called Zaya Wade’s recent interview with Michelle Obama “demonic.” Instead of responding with anger, Wade sees these bigoted comments as a way to push the conversation forward.
“All the people who got something to say about my kids, I thank you. Because you [are] allowing the conversation to keep going forward. Because you know what? We might not have all the answers, but we’re growing from each conversation,” he told the group.
Ultimately, Wade’s primary focus is to make sure his daughter feels loved and appreciated by her family. This is not a job that the basketball commentator takes lightly.
“At the end of the day, what I’m dealing with people, I’m dealing with life and death. It’s people in the transgender community that are getting killed. It’s kids that are murdering themselves that are hanging themselves; they’re killing themselves because of something as simple as acceptance,” he added.
“Something as simple as unconditional love is not being given to these kids, and I’ll be damned if my child gon’ be that person because of something as simple as me supporting who you are.”
***The video below contains profane language***