Dwyane Wade On His Family Leaving Florida, They Didn’t Feel ‘Protected, Safe, Seen’

Dwyane Wade is opening up about his family’s decision to relocate from Florida to California due to not feeling “protected” or “safe” in the place he “called home” for over a decade.

The NBA alum spent 14 of his 16 seasons as a standout on the Miami Heat. Even after his retirement in 2019, Wade and his family appeared settled in Florida up until earlier this year when he revealed why they relocated to California.

With a 15-year-old daughter, Zaya, who came out as transgender in 2020, Dwyane and his wife, Gabrielle Union-Wade, found it best to leave Florida in response to its sweeping anti-LGBTQ policies.

“When we had to decide what the next step was for our family as we were all coming together a little bit more, we had to think about our family and how it looked and how we wanted our kids to feel, what we want them to see on a daily basis,” Wade told People.

“Florida just wasn’t it for us at that time anymore.”

While the former shooting guard credits Florida for having “been so amazing for our family” over the years, “going forward, raising our family, it just wasn’t the ideal place.”

Florida has faced backlash in response to legislation passed earlier this year that seemingly targets the LGTBTQ+ community with laws that ban people from using a bathroom that goes against their sex assigned at birth, another law that prohibits children from watching drag shows, and a law that bans educators from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity across all grades, CBS News reports.

“It’s just not a place right now that my family and I feel protected, feel safe, feel seen, and I’m thankful that I’m able to speak out on it because I know there’s other families that feel the same way,” Wade says of their decision to leave the Sunshine State.

Now, as California residents, Dwyane and Gabrielle see firsthand how much more supportive “the community that my daughter is a part of” is “represented in a way that we felt comfortable,” he shared.

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