Dwyane Wade is speaking out in support of the LGBTQ community just weeks after responding to “hate” over a photo of his 12-year-old child Zion.
In an interview with a new video podcast from Showtime Sports called All the Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Wade opened up about the LGBTQ community, stating, “They’re normal, they’re not even different … everybody get used to it.”
He continued, “Everybody get used to it, this is the new normal. If anybody different, [we’re] looked at as different, you know what I’m saying? The ones that don’t understand it.”
“The ones that don’t get it, the ones stuck in a box. You’re different, not the people out here living their lives, man, you know what I’m saying? Ultimately, you want your kids to be free and live their lives.”
Last month, the former Miami Heat player, 37, spoke out on Twitter in response to “some post-thanksgiving hate” over a pair of family photos that wife Gabrielle Union posted on Instagram earlier this week, in celebration of Thanksgiving.
In the images, the actress, 47, poses alongside husband Wade, their daughter Kaavia James and Wade’s second-youngest child Zion, who can be seen resting a hand on Wade’s shoulder, showing off some long nails as well as a slightly cropped top.
In response to objections by some social media users over the way Zion was dressed, Wade fired back online, addressing the “stupidity” on Twitter.
“I’ve seen some post-thanksgiving hate on social about my family photo. Stupidity is apart of this world we live in—so I get it. But here’s the thing—I’ve been chosen to lead my family not y’all. So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile!” the retired NBA star wrote.
Wade, who has also been a source of support to his wife in the wake of her recent and controversial departure from America’s Got Talent, went on to respond to several other social media users, who praised the couple for “embracing” their children.
“Idk if @DwyaneWade & @itsgabrielleu know how POWERFUL & MOVING it is that they’re embracing their son’s individuality. (Damnit I’m crying) In our community, being given autonomy over your body, beliefs, image, & statements as a child isn’t a thing. That child is free & happy,” one fan wrote.
“As a parent my only goal is that my kids feel that I see them, love them and support them,” Wade wrote in response.
Wade said in the new interview that “when I respond to things socially, I’m not responding because you hurt my feelings, I’m not responding because I even care enough about what you’re saying … why I’m responding is because I understand my platform. … I’m speaking for so many others in the LGBTQ+ community.”
“It’s just my version of support,” said the former athlete.
He added that wife Union “gave me some different lenses to look through, of life, and changed my whole perspective” on sexuality and gender, and again addressed any people who speak out against the LGBTQ community.
“All these people [that are] out there saying those things, look at yourself, understand that you the one that got the issues, you’re the one that got the problem,” Wayne told All the Smoke.
Earlier this year, Union attended the 11th annual Miami Beach Pride parade with Zion.
In a June interview, Wade told Variety when asked about his family’s attendance at the parade, “I don’t really talk about it much because it’s Zion’s story to tell.”
“I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job,” the athlete added. “And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do.”
“I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it,” Wade continued. “I’m doing what every parent has to do.”