Dwyane Wade Explains Decision to Address Daughter's Gender Identity Story in ESPN Doc

Dwyane Wade speaks to 'GMA' five days before a documentary about his life will air on ESPN.


Image via Getty/Johnny Nunez

Dwyane Wade attends Stance Spades At NBA All Star 2020.

During a Tuesday morning appearance on Good Morning AmericaDwyane Wade admitted that it was difficult to decide how much he wanted to talk about the gender identity story of his 12-year-old daughter Zaya for a new ESPN documentary. Zaya, born as a boy named Zion, was revealed by Wade tobe transgender last week when the former Miami star made an appearance on Ellen

At the same time, or close to, Wade is set to be a part of a documentary on the sports network that showcases his life on and off the court, D. Wade: Life Unexpected. That will air on Sunday evening. What's that, you want to see a preview? No? Well here it is anyway:

10 years in the making... D. Wade: Life Unexpected premieres Sunday, February 23, at 9 p.m ET on @espn pic.twitter.com/6d4G1vMbHZ

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 5, 2020

Host Robin Roberts asked Wade about the decision to include info on his daughter, while noting that it was something he "didn't have to put in this documentary" if he didn't feel like it. Roberts also wondered what went into the family's decision prior to reaching a conclusion. Wade agreed with the GMA host that it wasn't something that had to be added, and also acknowledged that it could be a tough thing for a preteen, but said it was important to do nonetheless.

"I struggled on how much I wanted to talk about in the doc," Dwyane said "I actually didn't talk about it a lot. But, I knew if I put it in the doc at all, it would be a big conversation.

"And we struggled with that from, 'Yes, we understand that our daughter's 12 years old.' We struggled with what people would say about a 12-year-old making a decision about her life. But we also know our child."

He went on: "So we sit back and we say. 'You know what?' As parents, it's our job to sit back and figure out and find the information that we can. And we've sat down together as a family. We've reached out to as many people as we can. We've researched as many things as we can to try to help not only our family but other people in this journey and along the way. Because one thing we do know as a family, we've [gone] through so many different things that other people in other families go through and they say 'Thank you, guys, for speaking out on it. Thank you, guys, for being a face and a voice of this because we can't.' And that's what we're trying to do. We know there are other families that is dealing with their kid finding themselves and learning who they are."

Watch the relevant comments here:

.@DwyaneWade says he “struggled” about how much of Zaya’s journey he wanted to put in his @ESPN documentary, but “I knew if I put it in the doc at all, it would be a big conversation." https://t.co/ZdCAUU3gAQ pic.twitter.com/FLUwhAZAxW

— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 18, 2020

Or watch the longer version, which includes details of Zaya's coming out and Wade reflecting on the changing of his own mindset regarding similar issues, here:

"This is her life ... this is no game to us. We're about protecting her heart. We're about protecting her joy. ... To do that, we have to support them." @DwyaneWade spoke with @RobinRoberts about his daughter Zaya's gender identity. (via @GMA)pic.twitter.com/n5TtFm8DAf

— ESPN (@espn) February 18, 2020

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