Dwyane Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, are under a lot of pressure to raise their family "right"--whatever that means. They've become the face of unfamiliar territory and have mastered the countless hours of therapy to balance not completely understanding their family's journey, but still fully supporting it at the same damn time.
And in Dwyane Wade's latest interview, he is addressing the critics head on with the "hi hater" flex of the year: by saying, "thank you."
He sat down with the I Am Athlete podcast, featuring Brandon Marshall, Fred Taylor, Channing Crowder, and Ryan Clark, where gems were droppeth. They started with some good ole basketball conversations at first, and inevitably touched on the subject of Wade's family. And the episode, titled "Dwyane Wade: G.O.A.T. of Parenting", was everything we all needed.
"People don't want to hear this shit and don't believe this shit: at three years old, me and my wife looked at each other and said, 'What if?' What if, at the time, the name was Zion, comes home one day and says, 'Dad I'm gay,' or 'Dad, I'm this, I'm that.' What are you going to do, sir?
He admitted, from there, that through watching his son age, he mentally prepared himself to have the conversation fairly early on.
He then revealed Zion opened up to their family about being gay at eight. And by 12, he came out as transgender, ultimately adopting the name Zaya. Since, Zaya has gone on to live out loud, unapologetically, with her family's equally loud support and they genuinely have arrived to a place where they don't give AF what you, or anybody else thinks.
"All the people who got something to say about my kids, I thank you, because you allowing the conversation to keep going forward. Because you know what? We might not have all the answers, but we're growing from each conversation."
What's crazy to me about this, is I just had this conversation with friends this weekend over drinks. The subject of the Wades and Zaya came up because, per usual, the men were more intolerable to understanding, as the women are more nurturing to the fact. Ultimately, we agreed to disagree on the matter, mostly because that's usually how this conversation goes. But it's almost maddening to condemn this, but openly accept what is normalized in the black community.
As a community, we condone people like Boosie—who is one of the Wades most vocal critics—as a dad that raises his children to have sex, smoke, and yell expletives at a very young age. All of which are from a variety of women that he never married, btw (for the religious folks).
Yet, we draw the line at supporting a child—your child—who may step outside the bounds of society's "comfortablility realm."
Like, I don’t understaaaand.Giphy
People fear what they don't understand (or hey, some understand it but still refuse to live in their truth), and it's annoying. Extremely.
How about this: let's allow people raise their families how they want. If you don't understand it, fine. If you don't agree with it, that's fine too, it is a lot to unpack. But through the hate, whether you realize it or not, Zaya is still a child. And she's good. She has what we're all out here looking for. Wealth, being who she is, and parents who will swallow their pride and thank you for being hateful towards her...all because they know that the best way to normalize her truth, is to continue to have the conversation.
And that's what being the G.O.A.T of parenting is all about.
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