Former professional basketball player, Dwyane Wade, sat down with Trevor Noah to discuss his life in the NBA, his new photographic memoir, Dwyane, and his 14-year-old transgender daughter.
Considering the world can oftentimes be a harder place to live if you are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, the basketball star had to reflect on how his daughter felt emotionally. “I think when things happen personally to you when you have a personal connection to something or someone, you take it a little bit more serious,” he explained. “When it happens to you, you have to look at it in the face. You have to.”
“[With] my daughter looking at me across the table, I have to, this is something I need to deal with in the sense of, I don’t know everything,” Wade continued, speaking in reference to his 14-year-old, who originally came out at age 12. “As a parent, you want to make sure when your kids come to you, you have answers, you have the right words, you have the right support, whatever it is, you have the right motivation.”
Although Dwyane Wade wasn’t well versed on LGBTQIA+ topics, he knew he would continue to love his child.
He then went on to recall the early days of Zaya’s transition, noting that he knew nothing about how to proceed forward, except that loving his child was the most important thing. “At that moment, I had no answers,” he said. Wade then shared, “The only answer that I knew and that I had is that this is my child. I love them and I hate the pain my child is in. Seeing the pain of not being able to be confident and comfortable in who you are, you don’t want to see no one live like that.”
Wade included, “I see Zaya’s light. And for me, to be in a place where I’m not trying to dim her light. I’m trying to move out the way and give her all the light.”
The basketball player highlighted the fact that his daughter is no different than any other child. “I just see a beautiful, blossoming, 14-year-old girl who’s trying to pass her test at school just like everybody else, who’s trying to find friends this year going back to school like everyone else,” Wade commented.
He also expressed how being a parent should be characterized with lover, rather than ownership. “My wife and I, our whole role and our whole job, and we understand this, is to provide, to protect, to love, to facilitate. [As parents, we think] we have all these rules,” he explained.
Wade continued to elaborate with the sentiments, “It’s not to own. It’s not to say, ‘You’re going to be this, you’re going to do that.’ It’s to find out who they are. To find out their likes, and what are their dislikes are. And try to help them through life, to find themselves. It’s not about us.”
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