Despite his basketball eminence and multimillionaire lifestyle, Hall of Fame candidate Dwyane Wade admits he lives in constant fear for his transgender daughter’s safety.
Being the most beloved Miami Heat player ever, along with his opulent lifestyle, is nevertheless not enough to prevent D-Wade from being gripped with trepidation whenever Zaya Wade leaves his palatial home in South Beach.
D-Wade made the poignant admission during an interview with CNN during the Time 100 Summit at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York. The summit convenes leaders from past and current TIME 100 lists of the world’s most influential people which cuts across a potpourri of industries including government, business, entertainment, health and science.
“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house,” D-Wade said of his daughter Zaya, 15. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”
The Miami Heat is disturbed by right-wing demagogues who routinely spew anti-trans rhetoric and pass what he believes are transphobic laws. Wade wants lawmakers to come and spend a day in her shoes.
“To me, it’s a joke. This is our life. We live this. When you’re out there making rules, if you’re not experiencing this,” Wade remarked. “Come and live a day with my daughter. Come and see how it is to walk through this world as her.”
The 40-year-old husband of actress Gabrielle Union also revealed the irony of learning from his teen daughter Zaya on how to just live her life unabashedly.
“I went years without telling my chef that I don’t like cilantro on my burger — as an adult, it took me years to have the confidence to say that,” Wade said. “My daughter, at eight years old, had the confidence to say, ‘This is who I am. This is who I want to be.’”