In a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Dwyane Wade opens up about his 12-year-old child’s gender identity, and reveals how he and Gabrielle Union showed their support after the preteen came out as transgender.
Dywane Wade is opening up about his 12-year-old child in a candid new interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The basketball star’s kid was born as a boy named Zion, but Dwyane confirmed that the child now identifies as she/her and has asked to be called Zaya. Dwyane raises Zaya, who he has sole custody of after his split from Zaya’s mom, Siohvaughn Funches, with his wife, Gabrielle Union, and explained how he and the actress have done everything they can to support the 12-year-old after she came out as transgender.
“We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Dwyane said. “We’re proud allies, as well. We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question or an issue or anything, it’s our job as parents to listen and give them the best information and feedback that we can. That doesn’t change because sexuality is involved with it. Once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — originally ZIon, born as a boy — and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys, I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.’ Internally, it’s now our job to go out and get information.”
Dwyane said that he and Gabrielle reached out to the case of Pose to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community. “We just want to figure out as much information as we can to give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.” Dwyane also revealed that he has encouraged Zaya to use her voice to be a leader within her community in the years to come. “I looked at her and said, ‘You’re a leader. And this is your opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’ Right now, it’s through us, since she’s 12 years old, but eventually, it will be through her.” Dwyane and Gabrielle have proudly attended Pride events with Zaya in the past.
In addition to Zaya, Dwyane also shares another son, Zaire, 18, who he also has sole custody of, with Siohvaughn. He had a third son, Xavier, 6, with Aja Metoyer while on a break from Gabrielle in 2013. His daughter with Gabrielle, Kaavia, 1, was born via surrogate in 2018.