Dwyane Wade left Florida because ‘my family would not be accepted there’

While appearing as a guest on Headliners with Rachel Nichols, Dwyane Wade let the world know that he puts his money where his mouth is. Even though he is something of a hero in Florida for his years on the Miami Heat (they retired his number in 2020) and the lack of state tax making it financially attractive to live there, Dwyane moved his family out of Florida because they are not accepted there. Dwyane has a 15-year-old transgender daughter that he and his wife Gabrielle Union support openly and lovingly. They have been a wonderful example for LGBTQ families everywhere. On Headliners, Dwyane admitted he could not stay in Florida because of all of the heinous laws and bills that have been proposed and passed in Gov Ron DeSantis’ mission to put himself on the farthest right the Republican ticket can hold.

Dwyane Wade is talking about part of his family’s reasoning for not staying in Florida.

The retired Miami Heat icon, 41, appears on Thursday’s episode of Headliners with Rachel Nichols, where he’s asked about Florida politicians who count themselves among his fans but are vocal proponents of LGBTQ policies that negatively impact families like the Wades.

“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state,” Wade, father to 15-year-old daughter Zaya, who came out as transgender in 2020, says in a clip shared exclusively with PEOPLE.

“A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions,” the former NBA star continues.

“I mean, obviously, the tax [situation] is great. Having Wade County is great. But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And so that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there.”

Elsewhere in the discussion, Wade shares more about his parenting philosophies, which he partially credits to his father’s example.

“I tell my dad all the time, I’m just a mirror image of the way he loved us and the way that he accepted not only myself and my brothers but other kids in the community that didn’t have father figures,” Wade says.

“And so I don’t know any difference. And so yes, I had to educate myself and yes, I had to get a better understanding. And yes, I had to lose some friends along the process, but I never wavered on loving my kids and trying to find space to get the chance to understand them,” he levels.

[From People]

I appreciate Dwyane putting this out there, that he left specifically because the state does not accept his family. I like that he spoke as a unit and not just Zaya. Because when there is an LGBTQ member, you are an LGBTQ family. I’m a member of the community, proudly, because my kids are gay, and like Dwyane and Gabrielle, I make my decisions accordingly. What DeSantis and his little cluster of cronies are doing to Florida is shameful. Granted I don’t think they care too much about where the Wade-Unions call home, but it is important for people like Dwyane to say things like this out loud. It’s important that Zaya know how far her family will go to support her and it’s important for the LGBTQ+ community to have voices this loud.

I absolutely love what Dwyane said about his parenting mirroring how his father loved him and his brothers. That’s such a lovely compliment to his father, we should all be so lucky to have our kids speak of us that way. And I appreciate Dwyane reminding the listeners that he needed to educate himself and get fully there in his understanding. Sometimes we will be caught off guard by our kids. But, like Dwyane and Gabrielle did, we just let our love for them carry us through the learning we need to be fully there for them. I’ve come to admire the Wade-Union family in many ways.

Photo credit: Instagram and Cover Images

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27 Responses to “Dwyane Wade left Florida because ‘my family would not be accepted there’”

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  1. JoanCallamezzo says:

    I love the Wade family.

    • detritus says:

      Agreed. I’m so happy the kids have such awesome parents.

      And I’m so glad both parents continue to use their platform to normalize LGBT families.

      They do America proud.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I thought it was already pretty well known that was a big reason they moved, but maybe not, because he says not a lot of people know it, so maybe i just assumed it was the reason in my head.

    I think they are such a great example of a blended family and a family supporting each other, especially Zaya. I also love what he said about needing to educate himself and get a better understanding, and I think that’s important. As parents (as people) no one expects us to know everything about something they might not have experienced before. The harm isn’t in needing to learn more and understand more, the harm is in refusing to do so (or being dismissive of a family member that is LGBTQ etc.)

  3. Ms single malt says:

    I am a fan. I loved Gabrielle Unions books. She is a delight. Such a great step Mom/advocate. And such a blessing for her to have her daughter after years of struggles with infertility.

  4. Josephine says:

    Florida does not deserve that family. It’s hard enough to raise kids without being in a space where the politicans are actively formenting hatred toward your kids and aims to replicate nazi germany. (hatred + stand your ground = invitation to murder those you don’t think without consequence). Florida has more in common with the worst offenders of human rights than a state of the US.

  5. smegmoria says:

    I wish I had the funds to move out of a red state. My son who is gay is headed to college in a town that had literal nazis protest a queer event. Then instead of getting rid of the nazis the cops followed the attendees home.

  6. Steph says:

    I love this family. Watching them prioritize parenting to the best of their ability is lovely to see.

  7. sunny says:

    I love that he is publicly talking about why he moved. I think it is so important. Not all families with LGBT2QA kids or family members can afford to leave the state but they can and I am glad they did and are talking about it. D-wade is such a great example of a loving father and as someone who has done the work to educate themselves. I’m happy Zaya has such a wonderful support system.

    And oh, what’s happening in Florida makes me so sad for all of those kids and families that have to stay in a state that is passing policies to harm them.

    • pottymouthpup says:

      I can’t even begin to imagine the state fo fear people who are LGTBQ and the parents of queer children who cannot escape the Christofascist hells cape’s their states are becoming experience. The fact there are lawmakers who openly profess that they’d prefer their child struggle with the emotional abuse and commit suicide as a result of the turmoil of self-loathing & hopelessness instead of loving their children for who they are is mind boggling. Case in point, Montana hate bill sponsor Kerri Seekins-Crowe


      • Josephine says:

        Horrifying. I can’t believe that filth equated suicidal thoughts with manipulation — that’s exactly why so many kids commit suicide. She strikes me as the type of filth who probably mocked her kid, too. Can’t imagine having a “mom” who wants me dead so she can pretend to be righteous.

  8. Kitten says:

    He sounds like an incredible father. I just feel for the families that don’t have his wealth and resources but who would also like to flee a state with such hateful and unwelcoming policies. But I DO hope that those have the ability to leave, will leave because DeSantis needs to be sent a message,

  9. ML says:

    “I like that he spoke as a unit and not just Zaya. Because when there is an LGBTQ member, you are an LGBTQ family.”

    This is so well said, Hecate.

  10. lanne says:

    I’m so glad he said it openly. I wouldn’t be surprised if DeSantis tried to take custody of Zaya just to make a point. And with Zaya’s mother being so hostile to her transition, I wonder if Zaya could be kidnapped, dragged to Florida, and made to de-transition. The legistlature has a law on the table to enable that kind of thing. The fact that Republicans want to destroy people’s lives for political gain is repugnant. Trans people are just the start. It’s queer people, POC, and women on the target list as well.

  11. AnnaKist says:

    Oh my goodness. I had to dry my eyes before I could type. I almost did not read this story, because I did not know who Dwayne Wade is. I saw the word Florida. I recognize Gabriel‘s name so read on.

    What an amazing, beautiful family. After the shit Fuckery I read last night regarding DeSantis… ugh. What a contrast! The first part of Dwayne’s story brought tears to my eyes, but the part where he was talking about mirroring, his dad’s parenting style completely finished me off. I did not know who this man was at the start. And I will not forget who this man is. The LGBTQIA+ community (as it is known, here in Australia) could not hope for a better spokesperson; not strident or forceful, just measured calm, loaded with humanity and support for his own children and others.
    Thank you. ♥️

  12. Normades says:

    Good for them. I hope more prominent families follow suit even if they don’t have LGBTQ members.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    This is moving commentary. I wish a flood of commentaries would inundate these ridiculous states. This family is amazing and a testament to beautiful living. Thank you for posting this.

  14. cf86713 says:

    This would have more merit if he wasn’t part owner of the Jazz which is in a state that wouldn’t accept his family either.

    • Kitten says:

      *MINORITY owner. He owns a small stake. The majority owners of the Jazz are Ryan and Ashley Smith. Also, Dwayne and his family don’t live in Utah so I don’t see any inconsistency at all there,

      • cf86713 says:

        I do because the team is in Utah. He can’t live in a state that’s not tolerant but he has no issue profiting off a state that isn’t any better. The Jazz are the only professional sports team in that state. If you’re going to stand for something be consistent.

  15. TIFFANY says:

    Honk for more stories on Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade.

    When they won their philanthropy award at the BET Awards this year, Gabby put the community on blast and said we gotta be better in the LGBT community because we are one in the same. And she was 100 percent right.

    • DeeSea says:

      Honking right there with you @TIFFANY! Love this family, love how they support one another and others, and love how they loudly & unambiguously stand up for what’s right.

  16. QuiteContrary says:

    I love them and their unabashed embrace of all their kids. It’s beautiful.

  17. jferber says:

    I love their whole family.

  18. Veronica S. says:

    Pretty much anybody who isn’t poverty level should be preparing to do this who has female or minority children in these states. The radicalization and rhetoric is getting more heated, not less. It’s a game of roulette, but your kid is the hand being played. We can go back and forth on it all we want, but at the end of the day, it’s a risk.

    The only way we are going to keep the red states from dragging the rest of us down with them is through a war or attrition. Economically and politically starving them is about as bloodless a fight as you’re going to get, and that starts with depriving them of your tax dollars and demographics.

  19. AC says:

    Good for Dwayne and Gabrielle and the rest of the family. Desantis and his Republican cronies are literally destroying Florida(sometimes I see God’s wrath on that state). My aunt is part of the LGBTQ community, and it’s disgusting how some in this country has biases against them. For people who claim to be supposedly Christians they have a lot of hate inside them by using God’s name to try to justify their hate . I have boycotted visiting Florida – Too many people there just full of hate ruled by their idiotic dictator.

  20. Grouchiegrrl says:

    Really hope his ex doesn’t live there. Florida has passed a bill that will try to drag all custody matters where there is any queer family member before their courts, where they will remove kids who are getting, or *may ever be subject to* gender affirming care. It’s fkn repulsive, but moving out of Florida may not be enough for some families.