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Sex & Gender

every child should have a dad like dwyane wade

February 12, 2020
17.5K Picks

Good parenting is often rooted in mutual respect and humanity. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are giving their daughter Zaya what every child deserves: supportive parents and a lending ear. Zaya, who is growing up with the burden of being in the public eye, has become a face of the societal conversation surrounding transgender experiences, particularly Black transgender ones. 

An essential part of every movement are the hopeful moments. Sweet, inspiring stories give people in similar situations who may need to drown out negative messages with loving ones newfound faith to hold on to. Zaya and her family’s story is a heartwarming one; a powerful resistance to the unfortunate reality of the disproportionate amount of heartbreaking news we take in too often regarding the Black trans community. 

In a time where not all experiences and people have been normalized by the world, it is momentous to see examples of family where Black trans children are deeply loved out loud. As a professional, not to mention hugely successful basketball player, Wade might represent an ideal figure of masculinity to many. His open embrace of his daughter should be expected, yet we are so embarrassingly behind that it is a front page news story. He is redefining masculinity through his advocacy of his daughter’s experience. He describes himself and his wife Union as “proud allies” after telling Ellen that when Zaya came out to him he felt determined to give her “the best opportunity to be her best self.”

Zaya does not only find warmth in her parents but also in her siblings, specifically her 18-year-old brother Zaire who never misses a chance to tell her or even show her via actions (like attending Miami Pride with her), just how adored she is. I feel grateful for this example of a loving family to serve as one of hopefully many blueprints for more families all over. While Wade explains that right now 12-year-old Zaya will be a voice through her parents, he assures us that one day, when she is old enough, she will speak directly to us. We can’t wait to see how this love empowers you, Zaya.