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Dwyane Wade is “afraid every moment” his daughter leaves the house.
The 40-year-old former NBA star’s 15-year-old offspring Zaya came out as trans two years ago and he admitted he’s constantly worried about her safety because of how people “perceive her” in the world.
He told CNN at the TIME100 summit: “As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house.
“And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”
Dwyane went on to urge lawmakers to spend a day with Zaya to understand the impact anti-trans policies have on her life.
He added: “To me, it’s a joke. This is our life. We live this. When you’re out there making rules, if you’re not experiencing this. Come and live a day with my daughter. Come and see how it is to walk through this world as her.”
The former sportsman is proud of Zaya – who he has with former partner Siohvaughn Funches – for having the confidence to be herself from such a young age.
He said: “I went years without telling my chef that I don’t like cilantro on my burger — as an adult, it took me years to have the confidence to say that.
“My daughter, at eight years old, had the confidence to say, ‘This is who I am. This is who I want to be.’ “
Dwyane – who also has Zaire, 20, with Siohvaughn, Xavier, eight, with Aia Metoyer, and Kaavia, three, with wife Gabrielle Union – previously admitted he had learned a lot from Zaya.
He said: “I didn’t know anything, I really wasn’t knowledgeable about the LGBTQ+ community.
“What it has done is it opened my eyes and my ears to something greater and bigger than I, and my daughter has allowed us gracefully to be her support system.”