Dwyane Wade is no stranger to sharing family moments with his wife and children via social media. Like any other great parent, he wants his children to thrive and feel loved for exactly who they are.
During a recent interview with Showtime’s All the Smoke podcast, the retired basketball player opened up about how he came to accept his 12-year-old son Zion’s sexuality.
“I had to look myself in the mirror when my son at the time was 3 years old. And me and my wife are having conversations about [noticing] he wasn’t on the boy vibe that Zaire was on,” he said.
In choosing to support his son, Wade says he had to unlearn the patterns and prejudices he absorbed throughout his own life. “I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son come home and tell you he’s gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act?’”
Wade credits his growth as a parent to his wife, actress Gabrielle Union. “She led me. She gave me some different lenses to look through,” Wade said. “It changed my whole perspective; I grew up with the same perspective as a lot [who] were ‘ignorant.’ And you meet people along the way that help you take those glasses off and put on some different ones — look through life through a different lens — and so that’s what my wife has been able to do.”
Ultimately, Wade is committed to not only loving his youngest son unconditionally but speaking out against homophobic comments aimed against him. The 37-year-old found himself having to set the record straight after trolls commented on Zion being photographed in a crop top and long nails.
“When I respond to things socially, I’m not responding because you hurt my feelings or I even care enough about what you’re saying. As we say in the hood, it’s ‘ignant.’ I’m responding because I understand my platform. I understand that I’m speaking for a lot people that don’t have the voice that I have as a father. I’m speaking for my 12-year-old, because I haven’t allowed him to sit in front of a microphone.”
Watch Wade’s interview with All The Smoke below.