The former basketball player, 38, shared Zaya’s story during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday, February 11, announcing that he and his wife, Gabrielle Union, are “proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community.” He explained that the preteen was “born as a boy” and “originally named Zion,” but she recently sat down with Wade and Union, 47, and told them that she is trans.
“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 that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it,” Wade said.
The 13-time NBA All-Star went on to call Zaya a “leader” who one day hopes to “be a voice,” but he noted that “right now it’s through us because she’s 12 years old.”
Wade shares son Zaya and son Zaire, 18, with his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches. He is also the father of son Xavier, 6, with Aja Metoyer and daughter Kaavia, 15 months, with Union.
After the former Miami Heat star’s appearance on Ellen, Union shared a video via Instagram and Twitter of Zaya urging people to be their true selves.
“What’s the point of being on this Earth if you’re trying to be something you’re not?” Zaya asked. “It’s like you’re not even living as yourself, which is, like, the dumbest concept to me. Be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is.”
The America’s Got Talent alum captioned the post, “Meet Zaya. She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”