Dwyane Wade, son Zaire, Gabrielle Union share support for 12-year-old Zaya, pronoun change

Rasha Ali

Dwyane Wade's 18-year-old son, Zaire, penned a touching message to his younger sibling Zaya shortly after their father revealed the 12-year-old wanted to be referred to using different pronouns.

Zaire shared two throwback photos of him and Zaya when they were younger and recalled how he used to beg his mom for another sibling.

"Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of. I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years," Zaire wrote. "We did everything together...we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind."

He continued his message noting his love and support for Zaya.

"But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind... I’ve told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth. I don’t care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there’s no love lost on this side," Zaire ended his message.

Zaire's supportive note comes just a day after his dad appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and talked to DeGeneres about how he has supported his 12-year-old since she told her parents she wanted to be referred to using female pronouns.

"Once Zaya… originally born Zion as a boy – came home and said, 'Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I'm ready to live my truth, and I want to be referenced as 'she' and 'her.' I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,' " Dwyane recalled. "So internally, now it's our job to… go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have."

The former NBA player said wife Gabrielle Union reached out to the cast of the FX show "Pose" to help get informed. "Pose" is a drama series centered around Black and Latino LGBTQ characters.

"We're just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunities to be her best self," Dwyane said.

He recalled telling Zaya she had an opportunity ahead of her.

"I looked at her and said, 'You are a leader. You are a leader and this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,' " he said. "Right now it's through us because she's 12-years-old, but eventually it'll be through her."

The former Miami Heat star, 38, is also father to Zaire, 18, and Xavier, 6. He and Union, 47, welcomed daughter Kaavia in November 2018. 

"First of all, me and my wife… are proud… parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we're proud allies as well," he said. "And we take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously."

He continued: "So when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it's our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can," he said. "And that doesn't change because sexuality's now involved in it."

In tweets the same day, Union thanked those who have acted as a resource in their lives.

"Huge huge huge THANK YOU to everyone whose dms I slid into, friends, & family who provided information, resources, love & encouragement," she said. "We are humble LGBTQ+ allies with ALOT to learn & grateful for all the support. We encourage yall to check us as needed. Again, thank you!"

She also shared a video of Zaya encouraging those who feel judged to not "even think about that, just be true to yourself."

Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) | Twitter

"Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people," Union said. 

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