'Zaya' Trends After Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union Introduce Trans Daughter to World as 'Compassionate, Loving, Whip Smart'

Former professional basketball player Dwyane Wade revealed Tuesday that his 12-year-old child has come out as transgender. Assigned male at birth, she now wishes to be known as Zaya and has adopted the pronouns of "she" and "her."

Zaya is one of two children Wade had with his first wife, Siohvaughn Funches. They divorced in 2010. Wade married actress Gabrielle Union in 2014.

"Our 12-year-old came home... and said, 'Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I'm ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her, I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,'" Wade told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show Tuesday.

Union tweeted a video of Wade and Zaya, featuring Zaya speaking with Wade about her decision.

"Meet Zaya," Union wrote. "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."

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

In the video Zaya says, "What's the point of being on this earth if you're just going to try to be someone you're not? It's like, you're not even living your true self which is, like, the dumbest concept to me. Be true, and don't really care what the stereotypical way of being you is."

Newsweek reached out to Wade but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Zaya's name became a trending topic on social media with many Twitter users using the hashtag #Zaya to voice their support for Wade's family.

Author Roxane Gay tweeted her support of the family. "I love the parenting that @itsgabrielleu and Dwyane Wade are demonstrating in support of young Zaya and her truth," Gay wrote. "You love to see it."

I love the parenting that @itsgabrielleu and Dwyane Wade are demonstrating in support of young Zaya and her truth. You love to see it.

— roxane gay (@rgay) February 11, 2020

"Seeing all the supportive tweets to/about Zaya and Gab/DWade just actually made me a bit emotional," tweeted digital producer for New York's WPIX Mark Sundstrom. "Honestly can't imagine seeing this kind of public, vocal love & positivity for an LGBTQ child/person, especially a queer child/person of color, during my youth in '80s-early 2000s."

Seeing all the supportive tweets to/about Zaya and Gab/DWade just actually made me a bit emotional.

Honestly can't imagine seeing this kind of public, vocal love & positivity for an LGBTQ child/person, especially a queer child/person of color, during my youth in '80s–early 2000s pic.twitter.com/k5xIO1ztdh

— Mark Sundstrom (@106th) February 11, 2020
dwyane wade, gabrielle union
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union spoke about their trans daughter, Zaya, on Tuesday which caused the girl's name to become a trending topic on social media. Christian Vierig/Getty

Writer and podcaster Ashley C. Ford tweeted, "Shoutout to @DwyaneWade and @itsgabrielleu for refusing to deny themselves one of life's greatest opportunities: learning from your own child. And an even bigger shoutout to Zaya for being courageous enough to lead them."

Shoutout to @DwyaneWade & @itsgabrielleu for refusing to deny themselves one of life’s greatest opportunities: learning from your own child. And an even bigger shoutout to Zaya for being courageous enough to lead them.

— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) February 11, 2020

"She is so wise, and clearly so powerful," tweeted executive editor of Out Magazine Raquel Willis. "Thank you for modeling what true love looks like!"

She is so wise, and clearly so powerful. Thank you for modeling what true love looks like!

— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) February 11, 2020

Wade has spoken about Zaya's sexuality before. In December, Wade told the All the Smoke podcast that Zaya's transgender status changed nothing in his relationship with his child except that he had to "get smarter."

"I had to look myself in the mirror and say, 'What if your son comes home and tell you he's gay?'" Wade said. "How are you going to act? It ain't about him. He knows who he is. It's about you. Who are you?'"

"I watched my son, from day one, become into who she now eventually come into," Wade continued. "And for me it's all about nothing changes with my love. Nothing changes in my responsibilities. So, the only thing I had to do now is get smarter educate myself more. And that's my job."

Wade spent most of his basketball career playing for the Miami Heat. He was selected for the All-Star Team 13 teams and helped the Heat win three championships.