Fatherhood

Dwayne Wade cheers on 12-year-old son for having courage to come out

Dwayne Wade. Via Wikimedia Commons

Basketballer Dwayne Wade has made us misty-eyed with his recent comments about raising his 12-year-old son, Zion, who is open about being a part of the LGBTQ community.

In a new interview with the podcast All The Smoke, the former Miami Heat player addresses his son’s “strength and courage.”

“First of all, if you want to talk about strength and courage, my 12-year-old has way more than I have,” he said. “You can learn something from your kids. In my household, man, that’s all we talk about. We talk about making sure our kids are seen by each of us, me and my wife [actress Gabrielle Union]. We talk about making sure our kids understand the power in their voice.”

Related: NBA star Dwyane Wade shares his support for his 11-year-old son at Miami Pride

Wade also reveals when he began to suspect his son is gay. “I had to look myself in the mirror when my son at the time was 3 years old and me and my wife started having conversations about us noticing that he wasn’t on the boy vibe that Zaire [Wade’s other son] was on,” he recalls. “And, I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son comes home and tell 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?'”

Wade and Union have been nothing but supportive, even taking Zion to a Pride celebration in Miami this summer. Photos of the family posted to social media invited homophobic ridicule. Wade, for his part, won’t stand for it. “Stupidity is apart of this world we live in—so I get it,” he tweeted last month. “But here’s the thing—I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!”

Now that’s good parenting.