This parenting move turned out to be a slam dunk.
Dwyane Wade recently revealed that one of the reasons he and wife Gabrielle Union decided to move their family from Florida to California in 2020 was to ensure that their daughter, Zaya, had the space to be her authentic self.
"There are a lot of reasons we decided California was best for our family," Dwyane told Parents Magazine in a digital cover story published August 1. "And finding a community for Zaya was a big part of that."
As the athlete—who shares 4-year-old daughter Kaavia with Gabrielle and is also dad to sons Zaire, 21, Xavier, 9, and nephew Dahveon Morris, 21—continued, "We felt that California was a place that would allow her to blossom and grow. She's going to be a junior in high school now and she's been able to be accepted and become her here."
Zaya came out as transgender in 2020 at 12 years old. In August 2022, the former NBA star petitioned a California judge on his daughter's behalf to legally change her name and gender, which the court approved in February this year.
And the now 16-year-old is grateful for the support her father and stepmom Gabrielle have shown her.
In fact, when asked when she feels most empowered, Zaya told Dazed magazine in March, "When my family surrounds me."
"They are such a giant support system and have always been there for me," she continued. "No matter what happens, I feel strongest when I'm with them. I think it's not my job, but it's my honor to continue and further my family's education and appreciation for the entire LBGTQ+ community as we grow together."
And for Gabrielle, the love couldn't be more mutual. While at the 2023 GLAAD Media Awards with Zaya, the Bring It On alum spoke to the close bond the two share.
"I'm lucky to have Zaya as my bonus daughter," Gabrielle exclusively told E! News' chief correspondent Keltie Knight in March. "I did not birth her, but I've never felt more connected to anyone. And I've never felt more of a purpose as one of the adults in her village that is standing 10 toes down—sometimes behind her, sometimes beside her and sometimes in front of her leading."