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Dwayne Wade’s Support for Daughter, Zaya

Dwyane Wade is going to support those whom he loves -- no matter what. The retired NBA star is releasing a new documentary, titled D. Wade: Life Unexpected, where he discusses how his life changed when his 12-year-old daughter Zaya shared with the world that she identifies as a female. Despite the mixed remarks on social media, Wade continuously responds with the use of a well-known word: love. In multiple interviews, he constantly mentions that he will love Zaya, no matter what. Zaya has been supported by her dad, her step mom, Gabrielle Union, as well as her other siblings. During an interview with PEOPLE magazine, Wade says, “we want them to know there’s always unconditional love, that it will always be support.”

Wade says that Zaya has known her true identity for nearly a decade and that she has done research about gender identity for years. While on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Dwyane Wade shared with the public that his daughter identifies as a female, specifically a straight female, who likes boys. While on the show, Wade shares the moment where Zaya shared her truth, officially, with the family. He said, “Zion, born as a boy, came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I am ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her.’ I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.” In order to help Zaya throughout her public and private transition, Wade and Union had to sit down and figure out what they needed to do to make sure that Zaya felt loved and supported, despite being in a completely new situation. They spoke to various friends and family members about how they could build a strong support system for their daughter, and other children who have felt the same way as Zaya. Through this experience, Wade has taken the time to encourage parents who are going through the same change to take some time and do research and have the sensitive conversation with their family members.

Since informing the public about his daughter’s gender identity change, Wade has experienced a mixture of love and backlash. Rappers like Young Thug and Boosie BadAzz have posted negative comments about Zaya’s decision, but other artists like Cardi B, Ellen DeGeneres, H.E.R and Lena Waithe shared their words of love and encouragement towards Dwayne Wade’s family, and specifically towards Zaya.

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