Dwyane Wade says he moved family out of Florida over state’s ruthless anti-LGBTQ+ agenda

Dwyane Wade wears a black shirt and smiles as he stands next to his daughter Zaya who is wearing a black and white floral patterned top

Basketballer Dwyane Wade, father of trailblazing trans teen model Zaya Wade, has revealed that his family has moved out of Florida in the wake of the state’s attacks on LGBTQ+ people.

Florida is currently pushing through a number of laws that would restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ people, with trans people in particular in the firing line.

Currently, trans youth are banned from receiving gender-affirming healthcare, with doctors who do provide such healthcare criminally liable. The state has also recently voted to expand its Don’t Say Gay law, which prevents discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in schools.

Proposed legislation would also prevent trans people from using the bathrooms that relate to their gender identity.

Discussing the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the state, Dwyane Wade, who has made a historic career out of playing for Florida’s Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA), said that his family are “not accepted” in Florida.

Dwyane Wade Zaya Gabrielle Union
Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade and Gabrielle Union attend the Better Brothers Los Angeles 6th annual Truth Awards at Taglyan Complex on 7 March 2020. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state. A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions,” the three-time NBA championship star told Headliners.

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“I mean, obviously, the tax [situation] is great. Having Wade County is great. But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And so that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there.”

Fans of the basketball star are commending him for taking the steps necessary to protect his family.

“[Dwyane Wade] makes sure his daughter knows he’s always got her best interest at heart. I love him cause I know he gets so much hate just for being a good parent,” one person wrote.

Dwyane revealed during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2020 that his daughter Zaya Wade is trans, explaining that he and his Zaya’s stepmother, the actor Gabrielle Union, reached out to the stars of Ryan Murphy’s Pose for advice.

The pair have been vocal in their support for Zaya ever since and remain staunch allies of the trans community.

Speaking directly to Zaya as he accepted the President’s Award at the 54th annual NAACP ceremony in February, Dwyane praised the 15-year-old for how she has handled “ignorance” in the world.

“As your father, all I’ve wanted to do was get it right… I’ve sat back and watched how gracefully you’ve taken on the public scrutiny, and even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of that house every morning as yourself,” he said.

A graphic of Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade with a trans Pride flag in the background as they honour their trans child, Zaya, and the LGBTQ+ community during their NAACP Image Awards speech
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union honoured Zaya, who came out as trans in 2020, and Black trans people during their NAACP Image Awards acceptance speech. (Getty)

“I admire how you’ve handled the ignorance in our world. I admire what you face every day… To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement.”

Families across the state are continuing to question whether they can remain in Florida, as the state’s governor Ron DeSantis ramps up his relentless efforts to curb LGBTQ+ rights.

DeSantis’ campaign director Christina Pushaw was recently called out for gleefully celebrating the fact that LGBTQ+ families are being forced to flee the state.

While other states including Kentucky, Texas and Tennessee are all rapidly introducing their own anti-trans legislation, one activist has recently created a map to highlight where it’s safe for trans people to live.