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Dwyane Wade Supports His Child Zaya Living Her Truth

The retired NBA player opens up about the day his child, born Zion, asked to be called "she/her" and change her name.

There’s nothing better than watching parents embrace and uplift their children unconditionally – because that is the definition of true love.

Today, retired NBA player Dwyane Wade stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote his new ESPN documentary called D Wade: Life Unexpected which had been 10 years in the making. During their conversation, Ellen praised how Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union have been a positive example of how parents can should their adolescent children who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Wade responded by proclaiming that he and Union are “proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community” and “proud allies as well.”

“We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously,” Wade said. “So when our child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, to give them the best feedback that we can — and that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”

Wade, 38, also opened up about the day his middle child, born Zion, decided to go by the name Zaya.

“[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 shared.

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Union did her part by reaching out to the cast of the beloved FX show Pose for more guidance. Together, the husband and wife team did their best to, as Wade says, “figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”

Ultimately, Wade is proud that Zaya’s story will be an example for other children and their families. “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.’”

Echoing her husband’s statement on Ellen, Union followed up with a post championing their “compassionate, loving, whip smart” child Zaya. “It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are,” she reminds fellow parents.

In addition to Zaya, Wade is also the father of a daughter Kaavia James, 15 months, Xavier Zechariah, 6, and Zaire Blessing Dwyane who just turned 18. He is also the legal guardian of his 18-year-old nephew Dahveon Morris.

Catch Wade’s full Ellen interview below: