Dwyane Wade describes watching son become 'who she now is'

Retired NBA superstar Dwyane Wade went in-depth this week about family, parenting and marriage on the “All the Smoke” podcast. The three-time NBA champion spoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson about how his view evolved regarding his 12-year-old son, Zion, who prefers to be addressed using feminine pronouns.

Wade: Nothing changes with my love

Barnes asked Wade, 37, what it’s like to play in a masculine sport and “be comfortable enough” to have a relationship with Zion that’s open and honest. Wade has spoken out in support of her as well as everyone else in the LGBTQ community.

The portion begins around the 30:15 mark.

“I’ve watched my son from Day 1 become into who she now eventually has come into. Nothing changes [with] my love; nothing changes [with] my responsibilities. Only thing I got to do now is get smarter and educate myself more. And that’s my job.”

Wade has sons Zaire — who is teaming with LeBron James’ son, Bronny, on the Sierra Canyon (Calif.) basketball team — and Zion with his first wife, Siohvaughn Funches. He has sole custody. Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have a daughter who turned 1 last month.

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat greets his daughter Kaavia James Union Wade after playing the final home game of his career at American Airlines Arena on April 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat hugs his son, Zion Wade, after his final career home game at American Airlines Arena on April 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat addresses the media after his final regular season home game at American Airlines Arena with his daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade, on April 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Gabrielle Union, wife of Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat, looks on with their daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade, prior to Wade's final regular season home game against the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Arena on April 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat poses for a photo with his wife, Gabrielle Union, nephew, Dahveon Morris, and children, Kaavia James Union Wade, Zaire Wade, Xavier Wade and Zion Wade after his final career home game at American Airlines Arena on April 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 16: Dwayne Wade (C), wife Gabrielle Union-Wade (L) and son Zaire (R) look on during the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Wade on previously being ignorant

Wade credited Union for opening up his worldview to allow them to support Zion publicly. The three-time champion said he grew up with the “same perspective as a lot of these people out here that's a little ignorant,” but Union helped him put on a different set of lenses to view the world.

“I had to look myself in the mirror when my son at the time was 3 years old and my wife started having conversations about us noticing that he wasn’t on the boy vibe that Zaire was on. And, I had to look myself in the mirror and say, 'What if your son comes home and tells you he’s gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be?’”

“It’s not about him. He knows who he is. It’s about you. Who are you? All these people that are out there saying those things — look at yourself. Understand that you’re the one that got the issue; you’re the one that has the problems. It’s not the kids.”

Zion attended the LGBTQ pride parade in Miami in April and faced backlash online. Wade and Union, who could not be there with him due to work commitments, supported her on social media and later defended her after the backlash.

Wade responds to criticism of son

Wade and Union responded to “post-Thanksgiving hate” after people objected to the way Zion was dressed in a family photo the actress shared on Instagram last month.

Barnes referenced the constant backlash Zion faces, and Wade stands up for, when they talked about family.

“You want to talk about strength and courage?” Wade said. “My 12-year-old has way more than I have,” boasted Wade. “You can learn something from your kids.”

[H/T The Daily News]

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