Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union sought advice from the cast of hit FX television series POSE when Wade’s 12-year-old son, Zion, told them he wanted to be known as “Zaya” and use feminine pronouns.
During a guest appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, that will air on Tuesday, Wade said his son, “came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her’. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya’.
The retired NBA player told Ellen DeGeneres that his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, 47, turned to the cast of POSE for advice on dealing with a child who suffers from a gender disorder.
“That was our job to go out and get information, to reach out to every [LGBT+] relationship we have,” Wade said. “My wife reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we (could) to make sure we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.”
POSE, about New York City’s Black and Latino LGBT+ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 1980s, is a cast of cross-dressing and non-binary actors.
Wade insisted neither he or his wife ever questioned Zaya’s decision to come out, adding: “Once Zion came home and said, ‘Call me Zaya,’ and was ready to take on this, I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. It’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’
“Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”
Wade, 38, shares 16-month-old daughter Kaavia James Union Wade with Union. He also has a son, Zaire, 16, with his first wife Siovaughn Funches; and a love child, Xavier, 6, with a fan, Aja Metoyer, 36.