What Is Dwyane Wade’s Daughter Zaya’s Gender Identity?

Dwayne Wade

Getty Gabrielle Union (L) and Dwyane Wade.

Dwyane Wade, the Olympic Gold Medal winning basketball player, has a transgender child.

He and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have a 12 year old child who identifies as a female, named Zaya. Born a biological male named Zion, the 12-year-old child told parents that they wanted to be referred to as “she” and “her.”

USA Today reports that the transgender community, especially transgender children, are “extremely vulnerable.” In the 2015 Transgender Survey, 40% of respondents said they had attempted suicide, with more than half of those being transgender male teenagers and almost 30% of transgender females reporting they had attempted suicide.

Wade appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to speak about his child since they requested a change in the pronouns used to “she” and “her.”

Here’s what we know about Dwyane Wade and his family:

Dwyane Wade Says He’s Still Being Educated About Transgender Issues

Dwyane Wade’s Candid Talk About Supporting His 12-Year-Old's Gender IdentityDwyane Wade candidly chatted with Ellen about embracing his 12-year-old's gender identity, and how he and his wife Gabrielle Union made it a priority to educate themselves about the LGBTQ+ community to give Zaya the opportunity to be her best self. The NBA star also opened up about the passing of his friend Kobe Bryant.…2020-02-11T14:00:04.000Z

On Good Morning America Wade said, “She’s a kid that wants to focus on school. She said, ‘I’m thankful that I’m able to be me, but I want to focus on school.’ My wife and I are glad she doesn’t have to hide who she is.”

He continued “Zaya sat down with us and said, ‘this is how I identify myself… I think I’m a straight trans because I still think I like boys. As parents, we put our hopes and fears on our kids.”

Gender dysphoria is the feeling of conflict a person experiences between their biological sex and their gender identity. Surgery is one form of treatment for gender dysphoria, reports The Trumpet.

Getting access to these types of services is not easy says Metro, and there is a wait of several years for people to get an appointment at a gender identity clinic. “The discussion around regretting transitioning has been rearing its head recently… casting doubt on healthcare for transgender people,” continues Metro.

Wade’s older son, Zaire, posted a message on Instagram along with a throwback photo of the two children when they were younger, saying “Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of. I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years.”

Dwyane Wade Is Releasing a Documentary, ‘D. Wade: Life Unexpected’


The documentary from ESPN Films and Imagine Documentaries debuts Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 9 p.m. on ESPN. The documentary is more than 90 long and begins with Wade realizing his career is over. The documentary depicts his childhood and how he realized his career was over reports Miami New Times.

Wade fans get a glimpse inside of the Heat player’s head and a look at his life through his eyes. The documentary shows how, while his life was not planned, it did have a purpose. It shows Wade in somewhat of a state of disbelief about his tremendous success, continues Miami New Times.

Wade told Good Morning America that he did not include his daughter’s transition in the documentary. “This is her life. This is no game for us. We’re about protecting her heart and her joy.”

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