How Dwyane Wade Re-evaluted Self After Daughter’s Fear Of Coming Out To Him

Dwyane Wade has been praised for his unconditional acceptance and celebration of his daughter, Zaya, but his relationship with her was not always the most open.

Speaking to fellow NBA all-star Chris Paul and Creative Arts Agency executive Lisa Metelus at a CAA Amplify Event on June 27, Today reported the former basketball player explained how Zaya’s hesitance to come out as transgender to him made him re-evaluate his fatherhood and ideas of masculinity.

He revealed that he anticipated Zaya’s evolution of her identity after she came out as gay through a school assignment at age 8. However, he realized he was not the “cool dad” he initially thought himself to be after Zaya showcased fear in relaying who she truly was.

The husband of Gabrielle Union detailed the moment of truth for Zaya, “So I came home and I just remember my child being scared to talk to me, like hiding in my wife’s arm in a chair.”

“I had to go look myself in the mirror and ask myself: ‘Why was my child scared? Scared to tell me something about herself,'” he elaborated.

He came to the conclusion that his own masculinity and perpetuation of it contributed to the fears his child had about her own identity.

While Wade tried to protect his family from public opinion by keeping their faces off social media, an Instagram post shared by his wife on Thanksgiving prompted unsolicited conversations about Zaya, his parenting, and transgender children overall.

Having to deal with the widespread ignorance was the most challenging, as the married couple swiftly defended Zaya, while still educating themselves on the nuanced matter.

Focusing on their circle, Wade admitted that through learning more about his daughter, he too “became all kinds of things,” referencing his pink nail polish that twists expected gender norms.

Through the love and support of her family, Zaya Wade has since become a role model for trans youth in her own right, from walking in fashion shows to emerging as a young style icon.

Despite being in the public eye, and the continued scrutiny, the family continues to uphold a united front strong enough to block out the hate and intolerance.