Dwayne Wade Explains Why He Moved His Family Out of Florida

NBA Legend Dwayne Wade has opened up about his reason for leaving Florida.

Recently, the three-time NBA champion sat down in an interview with journalist and NBA reporter Rachel Nicholes on her show, Headliners, and revealed that he no longer lives in Florida because he felt that the anti-LGBTQ bills passed by the Republicans were a threat to the community.

“You know, obviously, the taxes are 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,” said Wade.

“A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions.”

The former professional basketball player is a father to four kids, including his 15-year-old daughter Zaya who came out as a transgender person in 2019.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County Court granted Zaya Wade a name change and legal transition.

PEOPLE reported that a Los Angeles County judge signed off on the new identity of the former professional basketball player’s daughter.

“While Zaya has gone by her name since 2020, her legal name is now Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade, according to a ruling filed in Los Angeles’ Superior Court. The judge also granted an official stamp of approval for the 15-year-old’s legal transition that would allow her sex markers on documents to match her gender identity.”

And while the teenager has the full support of her NBA star father and stepmother, Gabrielle Union, her birth mom is not-so-supportive of her life decisions and even alleged in court that her ex-husband is trying to profit their daughter’s outreach towards a name and gender change.

Responding to his ex-wife’s allegations, the athlete, 41, responded wrote on his Instagram,

“I’ve received a social media post about me forcing our 15-year-old child to be someone she’s not and to do something against her will. These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children.”

Wade added, “While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn’s attempt to fight Zaya’s identity and her unwavering attempt to drag my name through the mud, I’m very disappointed that she continuously find[s] ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children.”

Dwayne said that Siohvaughn tried damaging his relationship with his kids ten years ago, but eventually, after a long and bitter court battle, he was granted sole custody of his two children.

“All I ever wanted was to have my parenting time uninterrupted, as I knew that it would be a very difficult time for our kids to navigate their new normal.”

Dwayne and Funches-Wade were married for eight years, from 2002 to 2010, and share two kids together, Zaya, 15, and Zaire, 20.

Wade first confirmed Zaya’s new identity in February 2020 during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Me and my wife — my wife, Gabrielle Union — we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ community, and we’re proud allies as well. We take our roles and our responsibilities as parents very seriously,” he told Ellen adding that Zaya’s new pronouns are she/her.

He further said that when a child comes to their parents with any issue or problem, it is a parent’s responsibility to not only listen to them but also help.

“When a child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality’s now involved in it.” 

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Sources: PEOPLE – Instagram – The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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