Dwayne Wade opens up about his fears as the parent of a transgender child. talked with 40 year old CNN at the TIME100 summit on Tuesday, where he opened up about his desire to protect his daughter, 15-year-old Zaya Wade, as lawmakers continue to pass anti-trans policies across the country.
Dwayne told CNN’s Poppy Harlow, “As a parent for my daughter who can support her, I still dread every moment she leaves the house.” “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people in this world see it.”
Retired NBA superstar and philanthropist criticizes lawmakers who have passed acts denying trans youth access gender confirmation medical care and blocking trans athletes from compete in school sports aligned with their gender identity.
“To me, it’s a joke. It’s our life. We live it. When you’re making the rules, if you’re not experiencing it,” he said. “Come and live a day with my daughter. Come and see what it’s like to walk in this world as her.”
Dwayne also praised Zaya for the lessons she’s been taught through her gender-identity journey, noting that she was inspired by her daughter’s confidence in embracing her identity at an early age.
“I went years without telling my chef that I didn’t like cilantro on my burgers—as an adult, it took me years to believe it. My daughter, then eight years old, wanted to say this. Confident, Dwayne said proudly, ‘This is what I am. This is what I want to be.’
Trans athlete bans are currently under consideration in about 20 states, according to freedom for all americans, which tracks legislation deemed discriminatory against the LGBTQ population. On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Senate Republican-sponsored legislation passed To prevent transgender women from participating in women’s sports. The motion, which passed 30-20, now goes to the House, where a similar bill was previously approved. A Democrat, Senator Lisa Boscola of Northampton County, crossed party lines to vote in favor of the Senate version.
Judy Ward, R-Blair, the bill requires public K-12 schools and colleges to designate sports as male, female, or co-educational.
Dwayne is the father of Zaya, his brother, Zaire, 20, son Xavier, 8, and daughter Kavia, 3, whom he shares with wife Gabrielle Union. The family introduced Zaya to the world in February 2020, in a touching video of Dwayne and then-12-year-old Zaya talking about being true to themselves together on a golf cart.
Gabrielle tweeted at the time, “Meet Jaya. She is kind, loving, understanding and we are so proud of her. It’s okay to listen, love and respect your kids. Love and love from good people.” Light up.”
“Don’t even worry about it, just be true to yourself,” Zaya said in the video to those who worry about justice. “What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re going to try to be someone you’re not? It’s like, you’re not even living your true self, which to me is the dumbest concept. Be truthful and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is.”
during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Soon after, Dwayne reveals more about Zaya.
“Jaya, our 12-year-old, came home … and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I feel like going forward I’m ready to live out my truth. And as I want to be referred to as ‘he’ and ‘him.’ I would like you guys to call me Zaya,'” Dwayne recalled. To reach out to every relationship we have.”
“Once [Zaya] Came home and said, ‘Hey, you call me Jaya. I’m ready to take it,’ I looked at him and said, ‘You’re a leader. You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to give you a voice,” he added. “Right now, it’s through us as she turns 12. But eventually, it will be through her.”
Dwayne told ET that Zaya’s journey has taught him a lot about himself.
“For me, it’s always about being able to adapt and being able to learn and always be able to grow,” he shared. “I think after coming from the inner city of Chicago, I was closed-minded on a lot of things. And I’ve been with my wife, traveling the world, meeting people, different places. But I’m going. Learned to keep my mind open, my eyes open, my heart open, my thoughts open.”
“That’s what I’m trying to do because I’m growing into the man I’ve always dreamed of,” Dwayne said.
Since then, Dwayne and Gabrielle – and the rest of their family – have proudly supported Zaya throughout her endeavours. From sharing sweet messages about unconditional love to using her platform to honor her journey and standing as an ally with the LGBTQ+ community, Weds is never shy about showing love for herself.
ET spoke to parents at the premiere of Magic Johnson’s new Apple TV+ documentary, they call me magicwhere Gabrielle shared how Magic and his wife, Cookie, “showed them the way” through the support of their son, EJ Johnson – who publicly came out as gay in 2013.
The 49-year-old actress said, “It’s about perseverance and putting your family first and loving every member of your family equally and loudly. And he showed us the way.” “They were the first people we called, ‘Okay, we’re moving to LA, what do you guys think is the best school for Zaya?’ And he gave us the blueprint. And literally, in my career, every step of his career, he’s been there.”
As for Dwayne, Magic sees EJ hugging him, allowing him to better embrace Zaya, and it also lets their kids be there for each other as they each begin their journey.
“We had the opportunity to see EJ and Zaya embrace. As a father, to see all of our children embracing, and to understand that they are on a journey that is different from our journey. They are all And to hug them and see them all be like, ‘Yo, whatever you want, I got you. I’m here.’ To me, it’s just like Magic and Cookie have been with us as adults. And it was amazing to see EJ do the same to Zaya,” Dwayne said from watching Magic speak proudly about his son. shared earlier. Arsenio Hall in 2013.
He continued, “That moment, when I saw a black man, a professional athlete, be proud of their child, whatever they are doing in life, just be proud of who they are and who they are.” . , that makes it easy for me to say, ‘I’ve seen one of my idols do this, an older brother, I can do the same.'”
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