Dwyane Wade is another parent who is scared for their child’s safety in America. Except, the retired athlete is afraid for Zaya Wade’s life because of how the world might receive her as a Black, transgender girl. While speaking to CNN‘s Poppy Harlow at the TIME100 Summit, Dwyane expressed fear every moment Zaya is beyond the doors of their home and the safety of their parenthood.
“As blessed as my daughter is to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves our house and not just because of gun violence but because of the way that people perceive her in this world.”
His comment was part of their larger conversation about the recent passing of anti-transgender bans, particularly in Lousiana on Monday. Governor John Bel Edwards did not move to veto or approve SB 44 and his inaction allowed the state’s Republican-majority legislature to ban transgender women and girls from competing on women’s and girls’ sports teams. The ban affects competitive teams at all public and some private elementary and secondary schools and even colleges.
Poppy asked for Dwyane’s reactions to lawmakers and states enacting such bans. Dwyane didn’t hold back, calling the bans “a joke.”
“This is our life, we live this and so when you’re making rules and if you’re not experiencing this, if you’re not living this then you’re just out there signing away, making laws, that’s not right that’s a joke.”
He then challenged these lawmakers to “live a day in [his] world with [his] daughter” and touched on the path he believes humanity is on.
“Come and see what it is to walk through this world as her,” Dwyane said. “I just think we losing our humane, we’re losing the human side of us.”
Dwyane Suggests People Should Be Having More Conversations
At one point, Dwyane stopped mid-conversation saying there was not enough time for him to dive into his thoughts. But Poppy encouraged him to share his thoughts, assuring he had time.
Dwyane declared that the bans don’t make sense to him, especially during a technological age where information is available from multiple sources. Not only is it available, but per Dwyane, children already have access to it so it makes more sense to allow conversations.
“Why are we not talking about it, why are we not educating our kids,” Dwyane shared. “Why are we not educating ourselves instead of trying to close the book on it. You can’t close the book on what somebody want and who they feel they are. We’re not going to close the book on anyone being gay, bisexual, transgender. We can’t close the book on that..”
In 2020, Dwyane Wade announced his daughter’s transition. Zaya was 12 at the time. Since then, both Dwyane and his wife Gabrielle Union have publicly embraced their daughter and welcomed conversations about the LGBTQ+ community.