Retired Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade prides himself on being a devoted husband and father. That was evident when he fully supported his daughter Zaya coming out as transgender, which he openly shared with the world earlier this year. In a heartfelt Instagram post, Wade reiterated his endless love for his child, despite what the world might think.
“Unconditional love, simply put, is love without strings attached,” Wade wrote in an Instagram post featuring a series of photos of Zaya. “It’s love you offer freely. You don’t base it on what someone does for you in return. You simply love them and want nothing more than their happiness. This type of love, sometimes called compassionate or agape love 🖤🖤🖤 @zayawade.”
Back in February, Wade first opened up about Zaya (born Zion) identifying as she/her, saying that he and wife Gabrielle Union were doing everything to support her. “[Zaya] came home 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,’ ” Wade said during a segment on The Ellen Degeneres Show. “Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’”
The Wade family’s decision to support Zaya hasn’t been met without criticism. Rappers Young Thug. and Lil Boosie have both openly criticized the former Miami Heat player for encouraging his daughter to live in her truth. Wade responded to the naysayers on Twitter, writing “Hey social media keep the hate coming. It will only make the love stronger. #LoveWins.”
Zaya’s dad isn’t the only member of her strong support system. She also has an ally and cheerleader in her stepmom Gabrielle Union. Last week, the Being Mary Jane actress was a guest on the premiere episode of Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch show Peace of Mind With Taraji, revealing that she and Dwyane are fiercely protective of her. “Zaya’s peace is nonnegotiable,” Union told Henson “As Zaya gathered more language, she was able to tell us about her identity. She was able to tell us about her sexuality.”