Dwyane Wade Says 'This is No Game to Us' in Emotional Interview About Trans Daughter Zaya Coming Out

NBA legend Dwyane Wade has opened up to ABC's Good Morning America on about his 12-year-old daughter Zaya coming out as transgender.

Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union recently spoke about Zaya's decision to identify as a girl on social media, prompting global headlines.

In an emotional interview with Robin Roberts on Tuesday, Wade, 38, said: "For us, it was important that Zaya understood her family has her back."

"This is no game to us. We're about protecting her heart, we're about protecting her joy, and to do that we have to support [her]," said Wade later in the interview.

"We love the fact that she doesn't have to hide who she is," the former Miami Heat shooting guard said.

Wade said that Zaya has known she was a girl since she was three, but he was ignorant about the complexities of gender identity and ended up learning from her. "She's our leader," Wade told Roberts. "She's the one that sat down with us as a family ... she said 'this is how I identify, this is my gender identity.'"

Wade also offered some advice to other families coming to terms with having a transgender child, adding: "Have an open mind. Go out and research. Ask your child, ask other people questions about this, because this conversation is real."

FULL INTERVIEW: NBA superstar @DwyaneWade opens up to @robinroberts about daughter Zaya’s gender identity and why it was important to feature this journey his new @ESPN documentary. https://t.co/ZdCAUU3gAQ pic.twitter.com/Bf6xUJQvcx

— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 18, 2020

Wade initially addressed Zaya's gender identity in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres earlier this month, saying: "First of all, me and my wife Gabrielle, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud allies as well."

"We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously," Wade added. "When our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it's our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn't change because sexuality is now involved in it."

The same day, Union shared a post on Twitter introducing Zaya to the world. "Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It's Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people," she wrote.

Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT

— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 11, 2020

Zaya's older brother Zaire, 18, also posted a moving message on Instagram, writing: "I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years.

"I've told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth. I don't care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there's no love lost on this side."