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NBA player publicly supports 11-year-old son at LGBTI pride

NBA player publicly supports 11-year-old son at LGBTI pride

NBA star Dwyane Wade

Though he couldn’t be there in person, NBA player Dwyane Wade made sure his 11-year-old son Zion felt supported at the Miami Beach Pride parade on Sunday (7 April).

Wade, who plays for the Miami Heat, announced he’d be retiring after the 2018-19 season. It was his basketball career that kept him from joining in the Pride festivities, as he had a game in Toronto, but he posted his support on social media.

He first posted a photo on his Instagram stories of Zion and stepmom Gabrielle Union. Wayne captioned the post: ‘We support each other with Pride!’

Dwyane Wade Instagram story of son at Pride
Wade’s post of his son and wife at Miami Pride | Photo: Instagram @dwyanewade

Zion also attended with friends and his siblings, younger sister Kaavia and older brother Zaire, a 17-year-old basketball player who wants to follow in the footsteps of his father.

Wade posted another photo of Zion surrounded by his family and friends. He wrote on the photo: ‘Zion had his on [sic] cheering section today. Wish i was there to see you smile kid!’

Dwyane Wade posts a photo of his son at Pride
Zion with his friends and family | Photo: Instagram @dwyanewade

Many people praised Wade’s support of his son attending an LGBTI pride event.

The importance of parental support

Regardless of how Zion identifies, having the support of his parents, family, and friends in attending an event like Pride is crucial.

Numerous studies have shown that LGBTI youth are more at risk for mental health problems like suicide ideation and suicide attempts, as well as discrimination and bullying.

This is amplified more for LGBTI youth of color.

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 71% of all victims of anti-LGBTI homicides in 2017 were people of color. Of these victims of color, a majority (60%) were black.

Black LGBTI people, especially men, are also at higher risks for being affected by HIV. They further face disproportionate amounts of harassment and experiences with police brutality and misconduct.

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