Recently, Wade made an appearance on “The Ellen Show” this week. On the show, he explained how his 12-year-old daughter Zaya came to him one day and wanted to have a talk.
Zaya was born a male, named Zion. Being the great father he already is, Wade has always been transparent about loving his children unconditionally. He listens. Also, Wade understands that giving undivided attention to your children is the first step towards successfully guiding them.
Wade told Ellen,
“First of all, me and my wife Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well. And we take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”
After listening and understanding, the next step is to educate yourself to best assist your child in what they are going through. Wade explained how him and Union are seeking more information on the LGBTQ+ community.
“When our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information we can, the best feedback we can,” Wade told DeGeneres.
“And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”
The vernaculars used by Wade are not always correct, but that is not the takeaway from his interview. His care and his love are present, and his children surely know this.
Wade is making an effort to understand Zaya, what she is going through, and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.
Furthermore, his platform as a retired NBA superstar, combined with his wife’s status in the entertainment industry, give their message a broader reach. Speaking with Ellen, about raising and caring for children, especially about sexuality, will have an enormous impact in homes across the country.
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
While spending quality time with her dad, Zaya said,
“What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re gonna try to be someone you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself…”
Our youth are often wiser and braver than we could ever imagine. By listening, first and foremost, without preconceptions and clogged ears, we give them the opportunity to be truly heard. It is then that parents can reach out and show support.
“Once Zion came home and said ‘hey call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘you are a leader, you are a leader and it’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.'”
Zaya’s brother Zaire spoke out on Instagram to show love for his sibling.
View this post on Instagram
Wade is still working on how to be a better father, but his work is already commendable.
Our youth often just need to be heard and to know their guardians are taking a vested interest and concern in them. LGBTQ+ issues are issues for all of us, and it all starts with caring for and understanding the children.