Dwyane Wade Says His Family Didn't "Feel Protected" in Florida

The Wade-Unions have moved to California.

Zaya Wade and father Dwyane Wade at the 'Cheaper By The Dozen' premiere held at El Capitan Theatre on March 16th, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Dwyane Wade's daughter Zaya came out as transgender, he and his wife Gabrielle Union decided the best thing for their family was to leave Florida and move to California, where the trans community is safer and afforded more protections.

This has proven to be the definite right decision for the Union-Wades so far, but that doesn't mean that leaving Florida was easy, especially for the former basketball pro, who played for the Miami Heat and therefore had a strong attachment to the state.

"When we had to decide what the next step was for our family as we were all coming together a little bit more, we had to think about our family and how it looked and how we wanted our kids to feel, what we want them to see on a daily basis," Wade explained in a new interview with People.

"Florida just wasn't it for us at that time anymore." For the athlete, "going forward, raising our family, it just wasn't the ideal place."

He added that, in California, "the community that my daughter is a part of" is "represented in a way that we felt comfortable."

Commenting further on Florida, Wade said, "It's just not a place right now that my family and I feel protected, feel safe, feel seen, and I'm thankful that I'm able to speak out on it because I know there's other families that feel the same way."

Wade and Union have been supportive and outspoken parents, doing their utmost to help Zaya thrive under any circumstances. They have also previously opened up about the decision to move to California.

"When you have the kind of rhetoric that is being espoused in Florida and adopted into law, that's not an option if my child isn't safe there," Union said in a recent interview with Parents.

"We have family and friends who don't have the privilege of moving. So we are going to be fighting till we are out of breath to protect all kids who are oppressed. That is our responsibility as people with large platforms and as people who folks trust, and they trust us because we say the hard thing."

Union and Wade are part of a growing group of outspoken celebrity parents of trans or nonbinary kids, which includes the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Jennifer Lopez, and it's truly beautiful to see.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.