By Jim Berry

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union want you to know more of Zaya’s story.

The Heat legend and his wife hope sharing their 12-year-old’s deeply personal journey will inspire other families to listen, to respect and to love.

“We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we are proud allies as well,” Wade told Ellen DeGeneres on her show. “We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously.”

Wade went on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to proclaim the support he and Union have for his 12-year-old child.

“Zaya, our 12-year-old, 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,’” Wade said on the show.

In a video clip shared by Union, Zaya, with Wade by her side, urges other kids who fear being chastised about their sexual identity to be brave.

“I know it can get tough, but I think you push through and be the best you. It’s become more accepting,” Zaya said on the clip. “Even through hard times you gotta push through, it’s very worth it.”

Wade said his open support for Zaya simply falls under the umbrella of good parenting.

“So when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information we can, the best feedback we can,” he said. “And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”

Wade has rebuffed criticism that his child’s sexual identity has been too public too soon.

In fact, Wade has given Zaya quite the opposite message.

“Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader and this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’” Wade told DeGeneres.

More of Zaya’s story will be included an upcoming documentary about her famous dad called “D. Wade: Life Unexpected.”

Jim Berry

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