In an interview on Wednesday, Dwyane Wade shared how he’s changed for the better since his 12-year-old child Zion Malachi Airamis came out as a member of the LGBTQ2 community.
Wade, 37, said Zion has “way more” courage and strength than he has ever had.
“You can learn something from your kids,” he said.
Wade said a priority for him and his wife Gabrielle Union is to make sure their kids understand “the power in their voice.”
“We want them to be whoever they feel that they can be in this world. That’s our goal. Understand you can be whoever and you can be whatever,” he said.
“It ain’t about him. He knows who he is,” said Wade. “It’s about you. Who are you?”
Wade and Union have a loving blended family. Zaire Blessing Dwyane, Xavier Zechariah and Zion are from Wade’s prior relationship. He and Union welcomed a baby girl named Kaavia James Union Wade in 2018, and they also have legal guardianship over Wade’s nephew, Dahveon Morris.
Wade recently made headlines when he spoke out against trolls who criticized Zion’s appearance during Thanksgiving.
The criticism came after Union shared a family photo on her Instagram account. In it, Wade holds Kaavia, and Zion, wearing acrylic nails, is standing between their father and Union.
Comments started coming in criticizing the parents for allowing Zion to sport acrylic nails.
“Why are they encouraging this at such a young age? It one thing to accept it but… damn,” one person wrote.
But Wade wasted no time jumping to Zion’s defence. He took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the “hate.”
“But here’s the thing — I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!”
Wade has spoken before on the importance of inclusion. The family attended Miami Pride this year and shared their colourful day on Instagram. Wade posted a photo of Union, 47, and Zion on his Instagram stories, along with the text: “We support each other with Pride!”
“I’m from the inner city of Chicago and I wasn’t told that. I wasn’t told I could be anybody and do anything,” he said earlier this year.
“It’s my job to be that role model, to be that voice in my kids’ lives, to let them know that you can conquer the world and that you have the support of your father, you have the support of your family every step of the way.
“So go and be your amazing self, and we’re going to sit back and love you and support you no matter what.”
— With files from Meaghan Wray