In the latest episode of All the Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Dwyane Wade opens up on how raising his 12-year-old child Zion has helped him learn and grow as a parent and person.
"You want to talk about strength and courage...my 12-year-old has way more than I have," Wade said at the 30:50 mark. "You can learn something from your kids. In our household, that's all we talk about. We talk about making sure our kids are seen by each of us. Me and my wife, we talk about making sure our kids understand the power in their voice. We want them to be whatever they feel they can be in this world. That’s our goal."
Wade continued, "I've watched my son from day one become into who she now eventually has come into. For me it's all about, nothing changes with my love."
Late last month, Wade addressed the criticism over Zion wearing a crop top and fake nails in the photo that he posted on Thanksgiving. Wade explains that his decision to speak up had nothing to do with what those "ignant" people were saying, and had more to do with him using his voice and platform to show his support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Wade admits that in order to get to this point, he needed to strip away this mentality that he had shared with the people he grew up with. "I grew up with the same perspective as a lot of these people out here that's a little ignorant. I grew up with a similar perspective," he said. "And, you meet people along the way that help you take those glasses off and put on some different ones. Look through life through a different lens."
In addition to meeting people who helped him gain a new perspective, Wade noticed that Zion was growing up in a manner that didn't align with what he observed of Zaire. Wade was forced to look within himself and figure out what type of person and father he wanted to be for Zion.
"I had to look myself in the mirror when my son at the time was three years old and me and my wife started having conversations about us noticing that he wasn't on the boy vibe that Zaire was on," Wade said.
"And, I had to look myself in the mirror and say, 'What if your son come home and tell you he's gay?,'" he continued. "'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?' That's what my wife has been able to do. So, it's been cool."
Wade's parting words on the matter is that what we're seeing is simply the new normal, and it's time to get used to it.
"Everybody get used to it, man," Wade said. "This is the new normal. So if anybody different, we looked at as different. You know what I'm saying? The ones that don't understand it. The ones that don't get it. The ones that are stuck in a box. You're different. Not the people that are out here living their lives, man."