Celebrity

Dwyane Wade fears for trans daughter Zaya’s safety ‘every moment she leaves the house’

Maggie Baska June 9, 2022
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Dwyane Wade wears a black shirt and smiles as he stands next to his daughter Zaya who is wearing a black and white floral patterned top

Dwyane Wade admits he's "afraid every moment" Zaya "leaves the house" but says the family won't "stop doing stuff because of fear". (Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty)

US basketball legend Dwyane Wade has opened up about fearing for his trans daughter Zaya’s safety “every moment she leaves the house”.

The former NBA superstar has been openly supportive of Zaya living as her authentic self since she came out as trans in 2020 and takes every opportunity to gush about his daughter

Wayne revealed to CNN’s Poppy Harlow during the TIME100 Summit that he worries every time the 15-year-old leaves the house because of the massive amount of hate the trans community faces in the US. 

“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house,” he said. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”

Wade then criticised lawmakers who have worked to roll back trans rights in the US. Conservative legislators have pushed legislation denying trans youth access to gender-affirming medical carestopping discussions of LGBTQ+ identities in schools and banning trans students from competing in school sports aligned with their gender identity

“To me, it’s a joke. This is our life,” Dwayne Wade said. “We live this. When you’re out there making rules, if you’re not experiencing this.”

He continued: “Come and live a day with my daughter. Come and see how it is to walk through this world as her.”

The former Miami Heat star praised Zaya for the lessons she’s taught her through her gender identity journey, which she embarked on from a young age. 

“I went years without telling my chef that I don’t like cilantro on my burger—as an adult, it took me years to have the confidence to say that,” he said. “My daughter, at eight years old, had the confidence to say, ‘This is who I am. This is who I want to be’.”

 

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A post shared by Zaya Wade (@zayawade)


Dwyane Wade continued to applaud his daughter’s courage in an interview with Entertainment Tonight at the TIME100 Summit. He shared that he feels “lucky and blessed to be her father” and is grateful for being the “one who was put in her life to be her facilitator”. 

“That’s all we talk about it, just her courage,” Wade said. “First, to even have the conversation with her father, with her family, at eight years old.”

He added: “I look at her, and I’m 40 years old and I don’t even think I’m as courageous as she is. 

“I think we all want to get to that place where we’re living the life that we always dreamed of, or we’re being the people that we always wanted to be, and it’s no different from her.”

Despite “everything that’s going on in the world”, Dwyane Wade said he and his family won’t “stop doing stuff because of fear”. 

 

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