Dwyane Wade says going public with his son Zion Wade's struggles with a gender disorder helped his own self-awareness. "I'm growing into the man that I've always dreamed of becoming."
Wade, 38, opened up about Zion's gender confusion in an interview with openly lesbian television host Ellen Degeneres, 62, on Tuesday.
Wade said 12-year-old Zion identifies as a girl named Zaya, who prefers using feminine pronouns.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, the retired NBA player defended going public with such a personal family issue.
"We're not the only family that's had to deal with gender expression, gender identity, sexuality, with their child," he said.
Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, 47, were heavily criticized for exploiting their son's struggle with gender confusion and sexuality at such a tender age.
Union reportedly sought advice from the gender-bending cast of the hit TV series Pose, rather than a licensed therapist.
Wade claims his critics are simply "uneducated" and he suggested that God gave him the platform to exploit his emotionally troubled child for publicity for his upcoming Netflix documentary.
"We understand the position we've been put in," Wade told ET, "especially in our community, and even though it's not always a popular thing to speak out on issues that people are uncomfortable with or not as educated on, but this is the platform that God gave me and my family. So, we use it."
Wade said Zion's gender confusion has helped him grow into the man he should be.
"I've learned to keep my mind open, keep my eyes open, keep my heart open, keep my thoughts open. That's what I've been trying to do as I'm growing into the man that I've always dreamed of becoming," Wade said.
For years, Wade has been plagued by rumors that he is a bisexual man trapped in the closet. Black Twitter seems to think Wade is ready to come out and join his son.
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