Dwyane Wade is proud of his child Zaya and wants her to ‘be her best self’

The former NBA All-Star calls his 12-year-old daughter 'a leader' and expects her to be a 'voice' for her generation

Former NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade told Ellen DeGeneres that he’s proud of his 12-year-old who now goes by the name Zaya and that he supports her.

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Dwyane Wade told Ellen DeGeneres that he’s proud of his 12-year-old who now goes by the name Zaya.

His 12-year-old, who was assigned male at birth and was formerly named Zion, now wishes to be referred to as Zaya.  Zaya also wants to be addressed by the female pronouns she/her. Wade is all for it. The former NBA star told DeGeneres it’s his job as a parent to give all of his children the support they need to live their truth. There will be no exception with Zaya.

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“So once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — first Zion, I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion, born as a boy — came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her, I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’ ” Wade told DeGeneres, according to PEOPLE magazine.

“So internally, it’s now our job to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have— my wife (Gabrielle Union) reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose— 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 added.

Wade said he was proud of Zaya and called her “a leader.”

“Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’ ” Wade said to DeGeneres. “Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”

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DeGeneres applauded Wade’s response as a dad.

“First of all, I think it’s what every parent should be is what you’re being right now,” DeGeneres told Wade. “Which is unconditionally loving your child and supporting your child in whoever they are.”

In addition to Zaya, Wade is also father to Xavier Zechariah, 6, Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 18, and Kaavia James, 15 months, and is the guardian of 18-year-old nephew Dahveon Morris.