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Proud Dad Dwyane Wade Wants The World To Meet His Daughter Zaya

by Morgan Brinlee

After speaking out about the importance of providing kids with the chance to be their best selves, one proud father is taking a moment to celebrate one of his children for being their best self. Retired NBA player Dwyane Wade re-introduced his daughter Zaya following her red carpet debut at the sixth annual Truth Awards in Los Angeles, California.

"Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself," Wade, who previously revealed that Zaya identifies as transgender, wrote in a recent Instagram post featuring a photo of his 12-year-old daughter. "Her name is Zaya Wade!"

The former Miami Heat player went on to applaud his daughter for her first red carpet appearance. "Last night was Zaya's first red carpet and we couldn't have been prouder of how she handled the questions that were asked of her," he wrote. "She has emerged as one of the young faces and voices for the LGBTQ+ community."

Zaya attended the Truth Awards on Saturday with Wade and stepmother Gabrielle Union. According to CNN, the trio opted for complimentary outfits with Zaya in a custom green, black, and hot pink Richfresh suit and matching hot pink clutch. Wade and Union wore coordinating black and white suit jackets and hot pink and green tops to match Zaya's outfit.

When asked in a red carpet interview with Where Is The Buzz TV about how she felt about being an example for others trying to live their own truth, Zaya said "it feels great" to be able to inspire others. "I feel like there was always something that was like I was meant to do, but I was never able to find it," she said. "I eventually just stopped looking for it and I think I found it."

Zaya went on to say that to experience life to the fullest people needed to be free to express who they really are. "I just feel that all people should be able to experience life to the fullest and I think that really includes knowing who you are truly and being able to show other people who you are," she said. "That's just what it’s all about.”

While Wade has been open about not having all of the answers, he's said he hopes his family's openness about Zaya's identity will raise awareness and, ultimately, help change the narrative about having an LGBTQ child. "One thing we're learning as a family, because we do not have all the answers, but us speaking out and so many others speaking out, it allows for others to be educated, it allows the narrative to change the more we speak on things, the more we talk about things," Wade said in a red carpet interview, Yahoo! reported. "So that's all we're doing. As we're becoming educated, we're trying to educate. So that's a part of us being allies."

In a separate Instagram post, the proud dad called Saturday's Truth Awards and Zaya's red carpet debut "a dope experience for our family."