Dwyane Wade has opened up about educating himself as a parent and supporting his 12-year-old child Zion's LGBTQ journey.
The retired former Miami Heat superstar spoke about Zion with former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their "All the Smoke" podcast released Wednesday.
"I watched my son, from day one, become into who she now eventually has come into," Wade said. "And for me, it's all about: Nothing changes with my love. Nothing changes in my responsibilities. So, all I had to do now is get smarter, educate myself more. And that’s my job.''
Zion is one of Wade's two children with his first wife, Siohvaughn Funches. Wade, 37, also has two other children, including a 1-year-old daughter with wife Gabrielle Union, and is the legal guardian for his 18-year-old nephew.
Wade and Union have long expressed their support for Zion, which included the actress joining Zion at the Miami Pride Festival last year.
"First of all, you want to talk about strength and courage, my 12-year-old has way more than I have," Wade said on the podcast. "You can learn something from your kids.
"In our 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. We talk about making sure our kids understand the power in their voice."
Wade also stood up for Zion after a backlash involving a family photo posted on Thanksgiving in which commenters criticized Wade and Union for allowing Zion to wear acrylic nails and a crop top.
“I’ve seen some post-thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo,” Wade tweeted last month. "Stupidity is apart of this world we live in—so i get it. 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!"
Wade and Union have made sure to let all their children know that they love them unconditionally.
"We want them to be whoever they feel like they can be in this world," Wade said. "That's how I go. Understand that you can be whoever. You can be whatever. ... While you're trying to go down that process, this is what's going to come at you: There is going to be a lot of negativity, there is going to be a lot of hate. It's not even for my son's sexuality, it's just about being a young black man or young black woman. So everything that comes with that."
Wade's responses on social media are meant to support more than just his children.
"For us, when I respond to things socially, I'm not responding because you hurt my feelings," he said. "I'm not responding because I even care enough about what you're saying. ... I'm responding because I understand my platform.
"I understand that I'm speaking for a lot of people who don't have the same voice that I have as a father. I'm even speaking for my 12-year-old right now because I haven't allowed him to sit in front of a microphone yet. I'm speaking for so many others in the LGBTQ+ community."