I’ve considered dyeing my hair in quarantine. I’ve always wanted to, but now if it looks terrible, I don’t have to see anyone, and there won’t be any evidence of it. Dwyane Wade apparently has the opposite idea since he’s been documenting his hairformation on social media. Over the weekend, he posted a new TikTok showing off a new blonde look. 

@dwyanewade

𝐼 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑛𝑎 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘 𝑚𝑒!

♬ original sound - Motivational Videos!
 

Soon after, he posted this, following the wipe trend on TikTok, to reveal another colour change.

@dwyanewade

𝑊𝑖𝑝𝑒𝑖𝑡𝑑𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑆𝑖𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑦𝑙𝑒𝑑

♬ Wipe It Down - BMW KENNY

Finally, we got a video of Dwyane with his daughter Zaya. The hairformation was a coordination!

@dwyanewade

𝐿𝑖𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠𝑠!!!!! #ZayaWade

♬ original sound - Grace.selby

No shade to Dwyane, but why did he choose Ronald McDonald’s colour? I think Zaya definitely won the hairoff. The colour is gorgeous and those curls are perfectly styled.

Since Dwyane and Gabrielle Union first introduced Zaya to the world back in February, they’ve been amazing role models for parents of trans children. Gabrielle tweeted about Zaya on February 11th. 

She also followed it up with a tweet that said, “Huge huge huge THANK YOU to everyone whose dms I slid into, friends, & family who provided information, resources, love & encouragement. We are humble LGBTQ+ allies with ALOT to learn & grateful for all the support. We encourage yall to check us as needed 🤗 Again, thank you!”

 

The same day, Dwyane also spoke to Ellen about his experience with Zaya. You can watch the clip here, but my favourite quote from the segment is:

“We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, to give them the best feedback that we can — and that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”

Even before Zaya came out, Gabrielle and Dwyane were having conversations about what kind of parents they wanted to be. On a Showtime’s All the Smoke podcast, Dwyane said, “Me and my wife are having conversations about, you know, us noticing that, you know, he wasn’t on the boy vibe that Zaire was on. And I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘What if your son comes home and tell you he’s gay? What are you going to do? How are you going to be? How are you going to act?’ It ain’t about him. He knows who he is. It’s about you. Who are you?”

There are several key points that jump out from Gabrielle’s and Dwyane’s quotes. Foremost, they are modelling and advocating for unconditional love and acceptance. However, they’re also showing us the work that parents need to do in order to be prepared for these situations: Looking critically within themselves and asking the big questions. Listening to their child and teaching them the power of their voice. Asking for help when they need it. 

I love that Gabrielle and Dwyane admit that they don’t have all the answers (which is to be expected), but that they’re willing to put in the effort to figure it out. That’s why Gabrielle acknowledges the people who have helped them grow and learn in her tweet, and why she identifies herself and DWade as LGBTQ+ allies. Neither is pretending to represent the community. Instead, they’re showing people how to support it.  

That brings us back to hair dyeing. While it may seem trivial, it actually means much more. Imagine you’re a 12 year old child figuring out who you are and how you want to express yourself. Think about how powerful and affirming it would be for one of your parents to not just support you, but to join you in the process.

 

You needn’t search far to find reasons why this sort of role modelling is important. Comments on Dwyane’s Instagram post and TikTok tell a much bleaker story. (I originally screenshotted a few for this article but decided that these people and their ignorant beliefs don’t need any more attention.) Many of these commenters purposefully misgender Zaya, insisting that she is Dwyane’s “son”, and lament that Dwyane has gotten soft/effeminate/brainwashed by his daughter and wife.

Dwyane is a professional athlete. He’s also in a heterosexual relationship. Based on these alone, Dwyane is expected to act and conduct himself a certain way. This isn’t to say that sports are inherently bigoted nor that straight men are all bad. But we can’t ignore that these situations are typically where toxic masculinity thrives. Men, and especially men who play sports, are supposed to display masculinity in a certain stereotypical way, and when someone challenges that, a lot of people are butthurt.

Dwyane is shifting that perception, and he’s doing it for an audience that probably doesn’t have much positive exposure to trans issues. Even if many don’t want to learn it, visibility is important. Especially for a marginalized and underrepresented community. A+ Plus parenting Gabrielle and Dwyane.