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Dwyane Wade and Family Forced to Leave Florida Due to Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation

Dwyane Wade and Family Forced to Leave Florida Due to Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation

Dwayne Wade, Zaya Wade, and Ron DeSantis

The former NBA star says his family "would not be accepted or feel comfortable there."

Dwayne Wade, three-time NBA champion and father of transgender model Zaya Wade, has announced the motivation behind relocating his family from Florida.

Speaking with Rachel Nichols of Showtime’s Headliners, the former Miami Heat star and current co-owner of the Utah Jazz shared that the move was partly driven by the state’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

During the Headliners interview, Nichols asked Wade what he would say to Florida state politicians who are working to restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ residents — Zaya Wade among them.

“That's another reason why I don't live in [Florida]. A lot of people don't know that,” Wade answered.

A longtime resident of the Sunshine State, Wade became a Florida legend for his part in winning the Miami Heat basketball team three NBA Championship titles (in 2006, 2012, and 2013). In Miami-Dade County — often referred to as “Wade County” — a street was named Dwyane Wade Boulevard in his honor.

Despite his connection to the state, Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union sold their Miami Beach property in 2021 and relocated to Los Angeles, Calif.

As for the “why” behind the move, Wade cites concerns about his family as a major factor. “I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions,” he told Nichols.

“You know, obviously, the taxes is great. Having Wade County is great,” Wade continued. “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.”

Wade’s 15-year-old daughter Zaya, who came out as trans in 2020, is among those who would be targeted by Florida’s recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, which includes Gov. Ron DeSantis's ever-expanding “don’t say gay” Law, attempts to ban gender-affirming care, and a proposed bill to restrict drag shows.

Wade and Union have been outspoken in their support of Zaya and LGBTQ+ rights in the past. The pair advocated for trans acceptance in a speech at this year's NAACP Awards, and shared an Instagram post standing in solidarity with Zaya ahead of her first winter formal.

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