Dwyane Wade targeted by miserable trolls after celebrating daughter Zaya’s 16th birthday

On the right, Dwyane Wade wears a black leather top and black cape at the 20223 met gala. on the right, Zaya Wade smiles at the camera wearing a balck top at the GLAAD Media aWARDS.

Dwyane Wade has been met with criticism for celebrating his trans daughter Zaya, as she marked her 16th birthday.

Since model Zaya came out as trans in 2020, her father Dwyane and stepmother, actress Gabrielle Union, have taken every stride possible to share their support, and ensure she is able to continue her gender journey peacefully.

Earlier this year, at the NAACP Image Awards, Dwyane told the crowd how much he admired his daughter and how proud he was to watch her “face the ignorance in our world” yet remain undeterred. 

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, having won the president’s award. (Getty)

A couple of months later, in April, he took his exemplary parenting one step further, by revealing that he had moved his family away from Florida, due to the string of anti-LGBTQ+ laws the state has passed in recent years – including banning trans girls from taking part in sports competitions that align with their gender.

Dwyane’s move is all the more amazing considering he led the state’s most successful basketball team for 16 years.

Now, in another showering of love for his daughter, Dwyane celebrated Zaya’s 16th birthday by sharing an Instagram carousel full of images of the pair together, and of Zaya throughout her journey. 

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There’s nothing more wholesome than a father celebrating his daughter so loudly and proudly, but some people still couldn’t help but try to ruin it.

A string of comments took aim at Dwyane for “failing as a father”, while others insisted that they would unfollow the basketball legend.

Despite the grim remarks, the post was also crammed full of people putting the trolls in their place.

“Sending so much love your way as you father your beautiful baby. Cheers to 16 years of shielding, learning and loving. You’re a beautiful example,” wrote Grammy-award-winning singer Chrisette Michele.

Another person wrote: “Wow. So Dwyane Wade shows love for his whole child and some of you can’t see the celebration because you have no clue about the journey. Mr. Wade, I continue to be in awe of the wonderful, supportive parents that you and your wife are.”

A third added: “Dwyane Wade does not care about your thoughts on his daughter. He loves that girl and will always be happier and in a better place than you bitter people.”

While Dwyane is routinely seen supporting his daughter and her successes, he’s also painfully aware of the responsibility that comes with raising a trans child.

While on the Met Gala red carpet at the beginning of May, he spoke to reporters about the damning reality behind trans suicide rates

Questioned on his thoughts about Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who is behind the state’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws, he said: “I don’t know him. But I do know men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t.

“I do know that when our children feel accepted, that 43 per cent of our children [who] feel accepted, [by] their parents, [by] the world, it lowers the death rate.

“Suicide is high in the trans community. It’s high in youth, so I’m going to step on the side of acceptance and I’m not going to even go on the other side. I’m going to focus on acceptance.

“Let’s make sure our kids have an opportunity to live this life that we all get to live.”