Dwyane Wade On Daughter Zaya’s Identity: “She’s Known Since She Was Three Years Old”

Dwyane Wade, Zaya, Gabrielle Union

Dwyane Wade On Daughter Zaya’s Identity: “She’s Known Since She Was Three Years Old”

Newly-retired NBA champion Dwyane Wade is opening up like never before in his upcoming documentary, D. Wade: Life Unexpected. As told to Robin Roberts Tuesday morning (2/18/20) on “Good Morning America,” the doc will cover everything from his basketball career, his wife Gabrielle Union, their surrogacy journey, and for the first time, D. Wade will go into depth about his 12-year-old transgender daughter, Zaya. (formerly known as Zion Wade)



Dwayne announced his daughter’s gender identity to the world on the “Ellen Degeneres Show.”

Dwayne told Robin Roberts that he and Gabrielle have allowed Zaya to guide them along this discovery:

“Myself and my family, we love the fact that she doesn’t have to hide who she is. She is our leader…I struggled on how much I wanted to talk about it in the doc, I actually did talk about it a lot, but I knew if I put it in the doc at all it would be a big conversation.”



Zaya was born a boy, but now identifies as a straight transgender – meaning she identifies as a young woman and is romantically attracted to boys. D. Wade explained:

“[She’s] known it for nine years, since she was 3 years old…Zaya started doing more research. She was the one that sat down with us as a family and said, ‘Hey, I don’t think I’m gay.’ And she went down the list and said, ‘This is how I identify myself: I identify myself as a young lady. I think I’m a straight trans, because I like boys.’ It was a process for us to sit down with our daughter and find out who she is and what she likes and not put something on her. We decided to listen to her and she’s leading us on this journey.”

He explained that Zaya’s experience has helped him keep an open mind:

“Have conversations with your kid…My daughter was my first interaction when it comes to having to deal with this conversation. Hopefully I’m dealing with it the right way. Inside our home we see the smile on my daughter’s face, we see the confidence that she’s able to walk around and be herself and that’s when you know you’re doing right…I knew early on that I had to check myself – that I had to ask myself questions. As I got older and as I watched my daughter grow I had to look at myself in the mirror and say ‘who are you? What are you going to do if your child comes home and says, Dad, I’m not a boy,’ – what are you gonna do?’ And that was my moment of real…the biggest thing is to have an open mind.”

Lastly, Dwyane gave this advice to parents of LGBTQ children:

“As parents its our job to sit back and figure out and find the most information that we can. We’ve researched as many things as we can to try to help not only our family, but other people in this journey and along the way because one thing we do know as a family we’ve been through so many things that other families go through and they say ‘thank you guys for speaking out on it, thank you for being a face and a voice because we can’t…This is no game to us. We’re about protecting her heart and about protecting her joy and we have to support them.”

What are your thoughts on D. Wade’s upcoming documentary? Tell us in the comments.

Written by Miata Shanay

Authored by: Miata Shanay