The Former NBA Star Reveals He And His Ex Siohvaughn Funches Began To Notice Their Second Child’s Different ‘Vibe’ When He’s 3 Years Old And He Had To Lean On His Then-Wife To Open His Eyes.
Dwyane Wade has shared some powerful messages about raising a son, who belongs to the LGBTQ+ community, while sitting down with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson for their “All the Smoke” podcast. The former professional basketball player, who has been publicly supportive of his 12-year-old son Zion, recalls the time he first learned that his second child is different from his elder brother, Zaire.
“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 shares. “And, I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son come 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?’ ”
Admitting that he’s not completely aware of LGBTQ+ before his son, Dwyane says he had to lean on his then-wife Siohvaughn Funches to open his eyes. “I grew up with the same perspective as a lot of these people out here that’s a little ignorant. I grew up with a similar perspective,” he confesses. “And, you meet people along the way that help you take those glasses off and put on some different ones. Look through life through a different lens. That’s what my wife has been able to do. So, it’s been cool.”
Now, Dwyane can say of the LGBTQ+ community, “They’re normal, they’re not even different … everybody get used to it. Everybody get used to it, man.” He continues, “This is the new normal. So if anybody different, we looked at as different. You know what I’m saying? The ones that don’t understand it. The ones that don’t get it. The ones that are stuck in a box. You’re different. Not the people that are out here living their lives, man, you know what I’m saying? Ultimately, you want your kids to be free and live their lives. ”
Dwyane goes on praising his son Zion for expressing his sexuality at such young age. “First of all, if you want to talk about strength and courage, my 12-year-old has way more than I have,” he raves about his boy. “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, We talk about making sure our kids understand the power in their voice.”
He continues voicing his support for his son in particular and his other children in general, saying, “We want them to be whoever they feel like they can be in this world. That’s how I go, ‘Understand that you can be whoever. You can be whatever…While you’re trying to go down that process, here’s 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 for being a young black man. So everything that comes with that.”
Dwyane and his now-wife Gabrielle Union have previously defended Zion against backlashes about his apparent transition and feminine appearance. Recently, Zion’s elder brother Zaire also hit back at critics, writing on Instagram, “We didn’t ask for y’all opinion.”