Dwayne Wade’s Daughter Zaya Has Given Her First Interview Since Coming Out

Dwayne Wade

Former NBA star Wade and Union made a very special red carpet appearance on March 9, accompanied by Wade’s 12-year-old daughter Zaya.

The trio attended the 2020 Truth Awards, marking the first appearance since Zaya came out as transgender in February.

A new interview has now been released from the red carpet, where Zaya speaks about becoming a spokesperson in the LGBTQ+ community.

When asked by Where is the Buzz TV what it’s like to motivate others to “live in their truth”, she said it felt “great”.

“I feel like there was always something that was like I was meant to do, but I was never able to find it…I eventually just stopped looking for it and I think I found it.”

She also said that 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.”

WATCH: Where is the Buzz TV interview with Zaya Wade. Story continues…

During the ceremony, both Wade and Union made speeches that were met with rousing applause.

“When our 8-year-old daughter Zaya Wade came home and said she has something to tell us, when she came out to us as a family, we admit we weren’t educated on the LGBTQ+ community as we should have been,” Wade said.

“So, we immediately picked up the phone and reached out to our good friends Jason and Adair. They helped us navigate the right language to use, the questions to ask, and what to listen for. They also reminded us to make sure Zaya knew her community and felt the love and support inside and outside her home. From working closely with Zaya to design her rooms in our homes to making sure that her authentic self was represented and that her bedroom felt like a sanctuary.”

Taking to the microphone, Union said it was “really important for Zaya’s first red carpet to be celebrating black excellence in her community, real allies show up,” she said.

“It goes beyond tweets and retweets and a check here and there,” she said. “You have to show up and show what actual leadership looks like. You need to know when to shut the hell up and pass the microphone like I’m about to do right now.”

Back in February, Wade revealed to Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, that he and Union, were “proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community”.

“We’re proud allies as well,” he told DeGeneres. “We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously.”

Zaya (whom he shares with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches) was born Zion and assigned male at birth.

“Zion, born as a boy, came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I am ready to live my truth,” Wade recalled.

“I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her.’ I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.”

“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, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”

To educate themselves further about the LGBTQ+ community, Wade and Union reached out to the cast of Pose.

“Now it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. 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,” he said.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Union, who is best known for her roles in 10 Things I Hate About You and Bring It On, introduced her step-daughter to the world.

“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,” she wrote.

In the clip, Wade and Zaya are talking, and Zaya says: “You gotta just push through, I mean it’s worth it, I feel like it’s very worth it, when you reach that point of like, yourself.”

Back in November, Wade clapped back at trolls who were criticising Zaya in a family photograph, that also included him, Union, and their baby daughter Kaavia James.