Dwyane Wade talked about raising a gay kid & every parent needs to listen

Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade Photo: Keith Allison/via Wikipedia

NBA player Dwyane Wade gave a stirring speech about showing support and love for his gay son and growing as a man by witnessing their strength.

Wade was talking with Matt Barnes on the podcast All the Smoke, when the host brought up Wade’s 12-year-old son Zion.

Related: NBA star Dwyane Wade says it’s ‘my job as a father’ to support his son at Pride

Several weeks ago, Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union posted a Thanksgiving picture of their family to Instagram, where Zion was dressed in what some of their followers considered feminine clothes. And those commenters made their hatred of difference known.

Wade stepped up on Twitter to defend his family, saying, “Stupidity is a part of this world we live in.”

Barnes wanted to know more about Wade coming to accept his child. Wade started by extolling Zion.

“First of all, you’re going to talk about strength and courage?” he asked rhetorically. “My 12-year-old has way more than I have.”

He said that he already understood that Zion would face negativity in life as a Black American and even more if they are gay, so he uses his platform to help make the world better for everyone.

“I understand that I’m speaking for a lot of people who don’t have the same voice that I have, as a father,” he said. “I’m even speaking for my 12-year-old right now because I haven’t allowed them to sit in front of a microphone yet. But I’m speaking for so many others in the LGBTQ+ community. So for me, it’s just my version of supporting.”

Wade started to notice that his son wasn’t like other boys when Zion was three.

“I had to look myself in the mirror when my son, at the time, was three-years-old and me and my wife were having conversations about us noticing that he wasn’t on the boy vibe that Zaire was on. And I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son comes home and tells you he’s gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act?’ It ain’t about him. He knows who he is, it’s about you. Who are you?”

He also had a message for those who hate LGBTQ people: “Look at yourself.”

“Understand that you the one that got the issues. You the one that got the problems. It’s not the kids. You decided that they born a certain way and they got to be that way. That’s not life. I watched my son from day one become into who she now eventually has come into.”

“For me, it’s all about: nothing changes with my love. Nothing changes with my responsibilities. Only thing I have to do now is get smarter and educate myself more. And that’s my job.”

The relevant exchange starts at the 30-minute mark.

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