Zaya Wade is just 15 years old, and already she’s become the face of the Black transgender community. This month, LOGO has honored the teenager with a profile where Zaya explains her journey.
The articles also refers to Zaya’s “trailblazing parents” – Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade. The article doesn’t mention Zaya’s birth mother, and the woman who raised Zaya from a baby – Siovaughn Wade, who is a prominent Christian pastor and podcaster.
Siovaughn has been noticeably silent on Zaya’s new public “coming out.” But it’s clear that Zaya and her mom still have a strong relationship.
During the interview, the 15 year old says, “There are genuinely people out there who think that you’re a kid, this is a phase, or you don’t actually know what you’re talking about. I know that I’m trans and it’s not like one day I just went, ‘I want to try out being trans.’ No. So just suck it up. We are who we are.”
Zaya’s father is former professional basketball player Dwyane Wade, who spent the majority of his 16-year career playing for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and won three NBA championships, was a 13-time NBA All-Star, an 8-time member of the All-NBA Team, and a 3-time member of the All-Defensive Team. Wade is also Miami’s all-time leader in points, games, assists, steals, shots made, and shots taken.
Wade is currently the host of the American adaptation of the game show The Cube.
After a successful college basketball career with the Marquette Golden Eagles, including leading the team to the Final Four in 2003, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Heat. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men’s basketball team, commonly known as the “Redeem Team”, in scoring and helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in both total points (2,386) and points per game (30.2), the latter stat earning him his sole NBA scoring title. Wade was selected as the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2010. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, and won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.
Wade briefly left Miami to play for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers throughout 2016–2018 before returning to Miami to finish his playing career and retire with the Heat in 2019. He purchased a minority ownership stake in the Utah Jazz in 2021. In October 2021, Wade was honored as one of the league’s greatest players of all-time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.