CULTURE

Dwyane Wade Opens Up About Parenting a Transgender Child

The NBA star visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show to share his experience raising a teen in the LGBTQ+ community.

Dwyane Wade might be best known for his work on the court, but he's also gaining popularity for being a stellar ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

The NBA star caused a buzz late last year when he began referring to his 12-year-old child with she/her pronouns. During a recent visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote his new ESPN documentary, Wade spoke further about his experience as the father of a transgender teen.

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"Me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we're proud allies as well," Wade explained. "We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously, so 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 that we can."

Wade explained that when his child—who was assigned male at birth and originally named Zion—decided to go by Zaya and use she/her pronouns, he and Union wanted to do everything they could to educate themselves on transgender identities and gender fluidity. He said Union reached out to the cast of Pose, the FX show that focuses on LGBTQA POC in New York City. "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.

By speaking publicly about Zaya's identity and the experience of parenting a trans child, Wade and Union serve as heartwarming examples of genuine unconditional love. Last year, the American Medical Association referred to violence against transgender people as an "epidemic"; especially in the current climate instilled by an often anti-trans administration. It's worth noting that black trans women are killed at especially alarming rates. Parenting queer and trans children might be confusing and require some adjusting, but Wade is showing the world the difference that a loving heart and s willingness to learn can make.

Drake busts out more courtside antics at NBA Finals.

We're bombarded with photographs of celebrities on a daily basis from all corners of media.

The more fascinating snapshots are of celebrities enjoying themselves, being human outside of the ability to walk to and from their cars. The intersection of the sports and entertainment industries is the apex of celebrity culture: they're two of America's greatest exports. As such, NBA games are the go-to place for celebrities to see and be seen. They sit courtside and often interact with the States' greatest players. It's a celebrated celebrity crossover. From viral moments to costing championships, the appeal of this kind of content reminds us how much we love seeing our celebs being truly human, in a way that can't be masked on the carpet or scripted in interviews.

Spike Lee

James Devaney/GC Images

Many forget Spike Lee is the NBA's GOAT nuisance. The 1994 Eastern Conference Finals became a historic, frustrating moment for NBA stars. In Game 5, Lee's sideline antics had Reggie Miller dropping 25 points in a quarter, almost costing the Knicks their place in the finals. In Game 6, Chicago Bulls' Scottie Pippen was fed up with the director's commentary. After dunking on Ewing, Pippen walked straight up to Lee and directed him to sit down. The power move birthed an inadvertent player vs. fan feud.

Spike Lee's basketball interference didn't end there. The long-time fan called out the Heat back in 2012, claiming on behalf of The Knicks, "We're gonna kick LeBron's ass." Lee may have trolled and attempted to bait the star from the sidelines but didn't manage to faze him. Really, Spike Lee walked so Drake could run.

Rihanna

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Speaking of Drake, Rihanna has also become a notable presence in arenas across the country. She may not have an allegiance to a particular team, but she's definitely LeBron's A-List groupie. Wherever he goes, she's there.

Also, who can forget the phenomenal moment Ethan Hawke made his son switch seats with him to mack on the singer. He really was all of us.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z

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Anytime Beyoncé shows up, someone is going to write about it. Whether it's LeBron getting a little too close to Beyoncé for Jay's comfort or Nicole Curran (wife of Warrior's owner, Jacob Lacob) talking across Beyoncé, it's always entertaining to watch.

Sophie Turner

USA Today Sports

Across the sports spectrum, Sophie Turner has taken over the sideline, chugging wine and juuling up a storm. Her fun-loving, no-fucks-given personality is everything we could want and we hope to get more of it soon.

Drake

AFP Photo/Vaughn Ridley

Oh, the reason we're all here. Think-pieces aside, the "appointed" Toronto Raptors' Global Ambassador was a great marketing strategy. Unfortunately, the Spike Lee impersonation isn't as genuine or inviting as the original. The rapper covered up several of his Warriors' tattoos in favor of Canada pride, rubbing everyone the wrong way. His enthusiasm is so notable, Barack Obama asked NBA commissioner, Adam Silver if Drake was behaving himself.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

Danny Moloshok / Associated Press

Everyone loves when a celebrity get dunked on, but we love it even more when they embrace it. Teigen did just that when Dwayne Wade crashed into the pair, causing their drinks to splatter.

On the (very) bright side, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade's recent ankle injury probably gave some time to weigh in on plans for his 30th birthday party. It's hard to sign off on appetizers when you're on the road and Chris Bosh wants to play video games. In effort to cheer up the sidelined star, T.I., Rick Ross and Common all made appearances at his soiree Sunday night in Miami, with the latter performing a special celebratory freestyle over his track "Celebrate" for the guest of honor. Even if he made a slightly underhanded comment about performing at birthday parties ("I got a Grammy / But it's all good cause I come to rip it in Miami") no event is too big or too small for Common when it comes to celebrating his fellow Chicago native. Along with igniting the hoots and hollers of the many Heat fans in attendance, there were references to "Ni--as In Paris" and Ferris Bueller—did he steal that one from Bieber?—and the confident prediction that D. Wade would be back on his feet in no time. Huh. So Common has Dwayne Wade while Drake reps it for his teammate LeBron James? The plot thickens.

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