Dwyane Wade is opening up about the courageousness of his queer son, Zion.
The retired NBA star, who has been emphatic in defending his love and acceptance of his 12-year-old son, sat down for Showtime’s All the Smoke podcast in which he described his experience of raising a child who is part of the LGBTQ community. “I've watched my son from day one become into who she now eventually has come into,” Wade expressed, respectfully acknowledging Zion by her preferred pronouns. "And for me… nothing changes in my love. Nothing changes in my responsibilities. So, all I had to do now is get smarter educate myself more. And that’s my job."
“I had to look myself in the mirror when my son at the time was 3 years old and me and my wife started having conversations about us noticing that he wasn't on the boy vibe that Zaire [Dwayne’s other son] was on,” he explained. “And I had to look myself in the mirror and say, 'What if your son come home and tells you he's gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act? It ain't about him. He knows who he is. It's about you. Who are you?’"
The 37-year-old expressed how raising Zion — with the support and encouragement of his wife Gabrielle Union— has also given him a new perspective on the LGBTQ community. “You meet people along the way that help you take those glasses off and put on some different ones,” he expressed. “Look through life through a different lens. That's what my wife has been able to do. So, it's been cool.”
The father of four concluded the interview with a message for parents who are unwilling to accept the uniqueness of their children: “You want your kids to be free and living their lives. … You know, whatever you want to do, it’s my job to support you and make sure that you have all the tools you need to be as happy as you can be in this world while you’re doing it. … The ones that don’t understand it are the ones that are different.”
Hear the full podcast below.