Dwyane Wade Explains Why He Turned Off Comments on His Daughter Zaya's Social Media Accounts
It’s no secret that social media can take a toll on a person’s mental health, and that’s one of the reasons why Dwyane Wade made the decision to turn off comments on his 15-year-old daughter Zaya Wade’s social media accounts. For Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, who is Zaya’s stepmother, nothing is more important than giving their child a safe space to express herself. Right now, that means limiting who can comment on her posts.
Wade revealed in a recent interview with “Today” that he and Union talked through their decision with Zaya after reflecting on the experiences of Wade’s son Zaire. “Well, we have a 20-year-old, Zaire, who went through it a few years before Zaya, of jumping on social media and all of the negativity that comes with social media and the comments,” he explained. “And so we went through it once and we saw how it affected him.”
The NBA star went on to acknowledge that the social media space is even more complex for Zaya, who came out as transgender in 2019. When he and Union sat down with their daughter, they were keenly aware that there’s a “whole different conversation that’s going on in the world and it’s way uglier” than what Zaire had to deal with as a teen.
“Zaire’s conversation was about sports. Zaya’s is about what a lot of people don’t even understand and get,” he explained on the morning show. “And so we sat down with Zaya about being on social media. Her, my wife and I, we just talked about, we just want to make sure if she’s going to be on social media, if she’s going to show people some of her life, it’s going to be the people that she wants, that’s in her circle.”
Wade and Union have frequently spoken out about LGBTQ+ rights since Zaya came out. In June, the father of five discussed his fears for Zaya and other transgender youths at the Time100 Summit. In addition to sharing his worries for his daughter’s safety, he also expressed his desire for politicians to better educate themselves on LGBTQ+ issues. “When you’re out there making rules, if you’re not experiencing this . . . Come and live a day with my daughter,” he said. “Come and see how it is to walk through this world as her.”
As Wade and Union continue to fight for transgender rights, they’re also focusing on ensuring their daughter’s online experience is a safe and happy one. First and foremost, that means showing her that the most important people in the world are the ones who really know her, not random commenters on social media.
“Everybody on the outside, that noise on the outside, that (doesn’t) matter. What matters is the voice that you allow in your circle,” Wade explained.