Dwyane Wade launches online transgender community Translatable

Dwyane Wade plans on launching a new online transgender community called Translatable.

At the Elevate Prize Foundation’s Make Good Famous Summit on 23 May, the NBA Hall of Famer was awarded the nonprofit’s Elevate Prize Catalyst Award.

In an interview with The Associated Press before the award ceremony, the basketball star detailed the difficulties his daughter Zaya Wade, 17, faced after she publicly came out as transgender in 2020.

“We’ve done so many great things here so it wasn’t easy to leave,” Wade explained. “But the community wasn’t here for Zaya, so the community wasn’t here for us.”

Her coming out journey began right amid a contentious time for transgender people in the US, with anti-trans legislation in Florida and other states leading many trans residents to safer states.

As of last year, the Wade family sold their Florida home and moved to California where LGBT+ rights have more protections.

During his acceptance speech for the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award, Wade acknowledged the current political climate and the danger many trans people face as a result.

He shared the award with his daughter, noting that without her he wouldn’t be inspired to create his latest venture: Translatable, a safe space online for people like his daughter designed to act as a support system for transgender people and their families.

“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?’,” Wade recounted. “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.”

Funded by the Wade Family Foundation and built with the support of the Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project, Wade said that Translatable will “support growth, mental health, and well-being and that this space ignites more conversations leading to greater understanding and acceptance.” Since he also received $250,000 from the award, he noted that he plans on using that money solely for Translatable.

After hearing the basketball player’s plans at the ceremony, Elevate Prize Foundation CEO, Carolina Garcìa Jayaram, made an additional separate donation to Translatable.

Dwyane Wade attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 6 May 2024 in New York City.
Dwyane Wade attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 6 May 2024 in New York City. (Getty Images)

“Dwyane Wade and what he represents speaks to the ethos of the whole foundation,” Jayaram said to the AP. “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.”

She added, “We were just dying to be a part of what he’s building.”

The Elevate Prize Catalyst Award amplifies its winner’s philanthropic endeavors through the foundation’s resources and connections to facilitate the awardee’s organizations receiving more donors as well as supporters.

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