Dwyane Wade has proudly and openly supported his trans daughter Zaya Wade. Unfortunately, the world isn’t as supportive and open-minded, which causes the 13-time All-Star to fear for her safety.
“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house,” he told CNN. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”
Dwyane Wade also spoke against law makers who won’t pass legislation that will grant access to gender affirming health care for trans-youth. In many states, trans-youth are also banned from participating on sports teams based on their gender identity.
“To me, it’s a joke. This is our life, the retired NBA star said. “We live this. When you’re out there making rules, if you’re not experiencing this…Come and live a day with my daughter. Come and see how it is to walk through this world as her.”
Wade also opened up about what he has learned from Zaya Wade, who told her father she was trans at the tender age of eight-years-old.
“I went years without telling my chef that I don’t like cilantro on my burger—as an adult, it took me years to have the confidence to say that,” he said. “My daughter, at eight years old, had the confidence to say ‘This is who I am. This is who I want to be.”
Zaya Wade, 15, spoke about the hateful messages she receives because she is trans and said she is determined to not let it break her spirit.
“As a trans person, once I came out, there was a lot of hateful comments about how I should grow my hair out long or fit into a certain version of femininity, even though that’s not true at all,” she told her stepmother Gabrielle Union during a Dove Self Esteem project interview. “That kind of advice is just trying to break you, but don’t let it.”