Dwyane Wade says his family left Florida because anti-trans laws made it so they ‘would not be accepted’

Dwyane Wade is speaking out about his family’s move away from Florida and revealed that the state’s anti-LGBT+ policies were a factor in the decision.

The former Miami Heat player, 41, discussed the negative impact the state’s policies could have on his family during an appearance on Headliners with Rachel Nichols on Thursday.

During the conversation, the athlete, whose daughter Zaya Wade, 15, is transgender, explained that he had to “make decisions for my family” when deciding whether they should continue residing in the state where he played most of his career. Wade made the comment after he was asked by Nichols how he feels about politicians in the state who are fans of his but who also support the anti-LGBT+ legislature.

“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state,” he said. “I think a lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions. I mean, 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.”

As for what he would like to say to legislators who are pushing the anti-trans and anti-LGBT+ policies, Wade said he would “love to have a conversation with them”.

He continued: “And so, do I hate it? I hate it. I hate that we’re taking so many steps backwards … from everything I learned as a kid to now it seems like we’d made so [many] strides and now you look back and you’re like, ‘What happened to the strides we were making?’ I feel like we’re right back into the 60s or 70s, and it’s unfortunate.”

Wade added that when given the opportunity, he and his family will “continue to lead with our voice”.

Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union have been outspoken supporters of Zaya since she came out as transgender in 2020.

The former NBA player has also spoken candidly about wanting to protect his daughter, with Wade revealing in June 2020 that he is “afraid” for Zaya’s safety every time she leaves the house due to the rise in anti-trans legislation and rhetoric.

“This is our life. We live this,” the 40-year-old father said during the Time100 Summit. “When you’re out there making rules, and if you’re not experiencing this, if you’re not living this, and you’re just out there signing away and making laws, that’s not right. It’s a joke.”

“Come and live a day in my world with my daughter,” he added. “Come and see how it is to walk through this world as her.”

In addition to Zaya, Wade also shares son Zaire, 21, with ex-wife Siovaughn Funches, and son Xavier, nine, with Aja Metoyer, as well as daughter Kaavia James, four, with Union.