Retired Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade is sharing some of his reasons for leaving Florida on a recent episode of Headliners With Rachel Nichols.
The host asked the former NBA star his thoughts about politicians who claim to be his fans yet support anti-LGBTQ policies that are harmful to that community.
“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state,” said Wade whose daughter, Zaya, is transgender. “A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions.”
An example of said policies is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill signed by governor Ron DeSantis, prohibiting discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation in schools.
Zaya came out as transgender in 2020 and became legally recognized as female in February. She often advocates for young people who are on a similar journey and is open about the difficulties she’s faced as a trans youth. The family now resides in Hidden Hills, Calif. since leaving the sunshine state.
“I mean, obviously, the tax [situation] is great. Having Wade County is great. But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And so that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there.”
Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union Wade, have openly supported their daughter despite opposition from her birth mother. The former Miami Heat player’s ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, was fighting for Zaya to wait until 18 to change her name and gender identity. However, the court didn’t rule in her favor.
During the interview, Wade said his ability to unconditionally love his kids comes from his father.
“I tell my dad all the time, I’m just a mirror image of the way he loved us and the way that he accepted not only myself and my brothers but other kids in the community that didn’t have father figures,” he said.
“And so I don’t know any difference. And so yes, I had to educate myself and yes, I had to get a better understanding. And yes, I had to lose some friends along the process, but I never wavered on loving my kids and trying to find space to get the chance to understand them,” Wade added.
In addition to Zaya, the 41-year-old is a father to three other kids: Kaavia, 4, with Union Wade, 8-year-old Xavier Zechariah with Aja Metoyer, and 20-year-old Zaire with Funches-Wade.