Dwyane Wade opened up about raising his 12-year-old LGBTQ child Zion, and his statement is a powerful display of loving parenthood.
Wade discussed Zion during an episode of the sports podcast “All The Smoke.” The retired NBA player didn’t specify Zion’s gender identity or sexual orientation, but he did identify his child as a member of the LGBTQ community. He also used both male and female pronouns to refer to Zion.
“I’ve watched my son, from day one, become into who she now eventually has come into,” Wade said. “Nothing changes with my love, nothing changes with my responsibilities. Only thing I have to do now is get smarter and educate myself more. And that’s my job.”
Wade explained how he’s grown as a father by witnessing his son’s journey over the years.
“I had to look myself in the mirror when my son, at the time, was three-years-old and me and my wife were having conversations about us noticing that he wasn’t on the boy vibe that [older son] Zaire was on,” he recalled. “And I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son comes home and tells you he’s gay? What are you going to do?”
He added: “We want them to be whoever they feel they can be in this world; that’s our goal.”
Wade also acknowledged the amount of cyberbullying that Zion faces as a black LGBTQ youth in the public eye. He and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have a history of using their platforms to speak up on behalf of Zion and other LGBTQ folks, and they intend to continue.
I’m constantly impressed by how @DwyaneWade + @itsgabrielleu set a powerful example for how Black parents listen to and respect their children’s experiences and identities. They remind us of the importance of elevating the stories of affirming families in our community. https://t.co/eZj6WQc2We
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) December 20, 2019
That was a word.
— Kym W ✨💫🌟 (@kymwill7144) December 19, 2019
Many people on social media were deeply moved by Wade’s statement.
Writer and editor Raquel Willis wrote: “I’m constantly impressed by how @DwyaneWade + @itsgabrielleu set a powerful example for how Black parents listen to and respect their children’s experiences and identities.”
“As a father, @DwyaneWade is an inspiration,” presidential candidate Julián Castro wrote. “His unconditional love for Zion will give other parents the courage to love and respect their children for who they truly are.”
Dwyane Wade, you’re doing great, sweetie!