Dwyane Wade ‘damn proud’ of daughter Zaya as they launch ‘safe space’ for trans youth

Dwyane Wade and 16-year-old daughter Zaya Wade

Former basketball superstar Dwyane Wade says he’s “damn proud” of his 16-year-old model and influencer daughter Zaya as the pair launch a digital “safe space” for trans youth. 

The platform aims to support transgender people of colour and their families, as well as providing LGBTQ+ youth with a “safe space” to express themselves. 

Translatable will allow queer young people to submit poetry, photography or art, as well as providing educational resources for families of LGBTQ+ children. In a launch video for the trans-inclusive site, Zaya Wade said the platform will help “centre the most marginalised”. 

Her father expressed his pride in Zaya, who publicly came out as trans in 2020 when she was 12 years old. Since then, the family has moved from home in Florida because of the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the state. 

“She didn’t ask for this extra excitement in life,” former Miami Heat shooting guard Dwayne told People

“She just wanted to be a kid, do kid things and live her life and be selfish and worry about herself. That’s what you’re supposed to do at her age, worry about you.

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“But she’s thinking about a larger community, so I’m damn proud of her.”

The pair launched Translatable on Thursday (23 May) after Dwyane was presented with the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award for his advocacy work for the trans community

“This is a Wade family award,” he said. “This is just part of the Wade family, all the things that we do. To make the world a better place, you have to have acceptance.”

The award, which has previously been won by education activist Malala Yousafzai and actors Michael J Fox, and Matt Damon, includes a $250,000 (£197,000) contribution in funding for Translatable.

“For us, Dwyane Wade really does embody this beautiful combination of being a beacon within the NBA, somebody [who] is looked up to by other players, teams, obviously the fans and has a lot of social power,” Elevate Prize Foundation chief executive Carolina García Jayaram said.

“He’s used it for good for so many years, and now is entering this new chapter of his philanthropy and his impact work. We’re so honoured that we’re at that moment with him.”

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