Florida’s Anti-Trans Backlash: NBA Star Dwyane Wade Champions Safe Havens for Trans Youth

After his own daughter came out as transgender 4 years ago, Johnson realized the severity of the crisis and hatred our transgender youth are facing. 

Media Rears Its Ugly Head to Former Basketball Star

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Dwyane Wade is no stranger to media attention after his 14 seasons playing for the Miami Heat and entering the Hall of Fame, but after his daughter came out as transgender he realized the ugly side of media and the hatred spewed online.

Home Sweet Home

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It was in the same state that once called Miami-Dade “Wade County” in his honor, that he felt his family ostracized and targeted by anti-trans legislation. 

Florida’s Anti-Trans Agenda

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Wade’s daughter, Zaya, came out as transgender just as DeSantis signed multiple bills, banning gender-affirming care for minors, and villainizing drag shows. The legislation, signed in front of an overjoyed anti-transgender crowd, even targeted the use of personal pronouns in school and force people to use specific bathrooms regardless of their gender identity. 

Fearing for Their Safety

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Following the large population of trans adults who felt unsafe enough to flee the state, the Wade family quickly moved to California after selling their Florida home. 

“The Community Wasn’t There for Us”

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After leaving the state he dedicated his entire career to, Wade said, “We’ve done so many great things here so it wasn’t easy to leave. But the community wasn’t here for Zaya, so the community wasn’t here for us”. 

More Work to Be Done

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The move to California did not distract Dwyane Wade from the crisis he now realized trans youth are facing. He vocalized his support of the trans community, and shared his desire to create a safe and supportive community for them. 

Launching Translatable

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Zaya and her father worked together to create Translatable, an online community dedicated to supporting transgender youth and their families throughout and beyond their transitions.

Be the Change You Want to See

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In a recent acceptance speech for the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award, Wade stated, “The question was presented to her as, ‘If you have one thing that you want to see change in this community, what would it be?”

Helping Parents Understand

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Wade continued, “And, for her, it goes right to parents. It goes right to the adults. It goes right to us. It’s not the kids. It’s us. And so she wanted to create a space that felt safe for parents and their kids. That’s what Translatable is, and it’s her baby”. 

Hoping for Greater Acceptance

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Translatable is more than just a discussion forum. Wade hopes it will “support growth, mental health, and well-being, and that this space ignites more conversations leading to greater understanding and acceptance”. 

Translatable – Who Is Paying? 

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Wade is proud to announce that the $250,000 reward for the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award will be used to continue Translatable, along with his own funding from the Wade Family Foundation. 

Inspiring Others to Join

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The Elevate Prize Foundation CEO, Carolina Garcia Jayaram, was completely moved by Wade’s speech and mission, and decided to make personal donations to the cause. 

Wade – Lifetime Social Justice Advocate

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Jayaram said, “Dwyane Wade and what he represents speaks to the ethos of the whole foundation. He is such a hero in the sports universe and even beyond basketball. He’s been in the social justice space almost since the very beginning of his NBA career and most people don’t know that.”

Part of Being a Parent

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While Wade appreciates the support of the organization, he is also quick to remind people that his mission of creating a safe and supportive community is simply a natural extension of being a parent. 

Refusing to “Stay Ignorant”

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Dwyane Wade commented, “We understand that in this state that not everyone thinks the way some others think”. Continuing, “Like most things in life, once you get to know them, you have more ability to be understanding. And so if you don’t want to know them, then you stay ignorant in a sense.”

Launching at a Critical Time

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Leaders among the LGBTQ+ community agree that Translatable comes at a time where it could be life or death for trans youth.  The Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, Alexander Roque said, “Not all bills turn into law, but they’re all acts of hate that affect our kids in very devastating ways.” 

The Frightening Statistics

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Roque said, “We know statistically that every time there’s an anti-LGBTQ bill in the media, there’s a 400% increase in calls to suicide hotlines by young people. We also know that we’re seeing a significant increase in unhoused LGBTQ youth because of family rejection. So to have someone of this celebrity so invested in the community, it’s helping to change the tide of what’s happening to our kids and perhaps one of the most hopeful moments in what I hope is a changing tide.”

The Financial Hurdle LGBTQ+ Organizations Face

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A clinician at FLOX Health for LGBTQ people, Dr. Michelle Forcier is hopeful about the prospect of having a safe online community for the youth she works with.  Forcier said, “The transgender and gender-diverse community does not have the deep pockets — including financial, political, and media resources — that the anti-transgender and anti-diversity political and advocacy community has.” 

Game Changer

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“To have a champion who shows up for some of our most vulnerable — transgender and gender-diverse youth and the families that care for them — that would be a truly heroic act and possibly change the game entirely.”

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The post Florida’s Anti-Trans Backlash: NBA Star Dwyane Wade Champions Safe Havens for Trans Youth first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.