Dwyane Wade Opens Up About Letting His Child Zaya "Be Her Best Self"

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Dwyane Wade continues to shine a light on the importance of being an LGBTQ ally through talking about his children. While appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, Wade opened up about the day Zaya came out to him and his wife Gabrielle Union. His first instinct was to approach his 12-year-old with love and understanding and the hope that he can give his child “the best opportunity to be her best self.” And it's a sentiment that daytime host Ellen DeGeneres was quick to praise him for.

In the interview, Wade recalled the day when Zaya, "originally named Zion," announced that she was ready to "live my truth." He continued, recalling her request to use she/her pronouns, and telling Wade and Union, "'I would love for you to call me Zaya.'" The basketball star went on to say how proud he and Union are to have a child in the LGBTQ+ community.

"We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously," Wade continued. "When a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, to give them the best feedback that we can — and that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”

TheEllenShow on YouTube

Wade added that he felt it was his responsibility, as the parent, to start educating himself. "It’s now our job to go out and get information," he said, later adding, "We’re just trying 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." According to the athlete, Union was so dedicated to mine every resource, she reached out to the cast and crew of FX's Pose.

Angelica Ross, who played Candy on Pose, confirmed on Twitter that Union did, in fact, reach out to her. "I was so touched when @itsgabrielleu reached out!" Ross wrote, commending the couple on being "committed to getting it right as parents."

And, though Wade might be the one currently sharing Zaya's truth with the world, he made it clear that she would be telling her own story in the future. "Right now it's through us, because she's 12 years old, but eventually, it would be through her," he told DeGeneres.

After Wade's interview went live, Union shared a video of Zaya talking about being her authentic self on Instagram. "Meet Zaya," the actor captioned the post. "She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her."

"What's the point of being on this Earth if you're trying to be someone you're not? It's like you're not even living as yourself," Zaya says in the video before encouraging those having a hard time to "push through" to get to a point where you can "look in the mirror and say 'hi' to yourself, like, 'nice to meet you.' Instead of, 'I don't really know who I am.'"