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.
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.
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