This week, Dwyane Wade went on Ellen and told the story about how his daughter Zaya came out as trans to her parents. He had previously discussed having a queer child in interviews.
I hope a lot of queer kids and their parents see Wade’s open support of his daughter. “We’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self,” Wade said. You can watch the interview here or embedded below:
The interview is made more powerful by not being perfectly woke. Wade is a bit clumsy in the way he discusses his daughter’s assigned birth sex and birth name, but he is genuine in his support, admitting he still has a lot to learn. It’s important for queer kids to see their parents also have the potential to be supportive, even if they don’t yet fully understand LGBTQ issues, and it’s important for those parents to see an example that doesn’t feel impossible to follow.
On Tuesday afternoon, Zaya’s mom Gabrielle Union posted a follow-up video of her and her father discussing why she made the decision to come out as a trans girl.
Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 11, 2020
When I was 12 years old, I never considered for a second that coming out was possible. I had never heard about trans people outside of the context of media content that mocked them, like Ace Ventura and Jerry Springer. But every prominent story like Dwyane and Zaya Wade’s chips away at stigmas, gives people a little bit more information, and makes life a little bit easier for the queer kids who haven’t yet had that conversation with their parents.
Wade probably believes he is simply being a good dad to his daughter, but in the process he is helping to make the world a better place for other kids, too.