Dwyane Wade’s support, pride in transgender child will change opinions

Dwyane Wade's support, pride in transgender child will change opinions

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Considerable as Dwyane Wade’s athletic achievements are – three NBA titles, an Olympic gold medal, too many scoring records to mention – they pale in comparison to what he did with just a few simple words. 

In letting the world know that he and wife Gabrielle Union love, and more importantly, unconditionally support their 12-year-old daughter Zaya, who is transgender, the NBA superstar will make the lives of other kids like her more bearable. He’ll likely even save some of their lives.

This is not hyperbole, or giving an athlete extra credit for something small. While acceptance of homosexuality has grown at almost lightning speed in the past five years, the transgender community, its kids in particular, remains extremely vulnerable.

In the 2015 Transgender Survey, 40% of respondents said they had attempted suicide during their lifetime. That’s nearly nine times the rate of the general U.S. population. A 2018 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that more than half of transgender male teenagers had attempted suicide, while almost 30% of transgender female teenagers had.

Dwyane Wade hugs Zaya after Wade played in his final game in April.

The Transgender Survey also found that 77% of respondents suffered abuse when they were in school.

And according to Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, there is a direct correlation between those horrible statistics and family acceptance.

Children who have been rejected by their families are eight times more likely to have attempted suicide, David said, and almost six times more likely to report high levels of depression.



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