Dwyane Wade is opening up about why he and his family moved out of Florida, listing the state's anti-LGBTQ+ laws as part of the reason for their move.
"That's another reason why I don't live in that state," the former professional basketball player, who spent the vast majority of his 16-year NBA career playing for the Miami Heat, said in a clip from "Headliners" with Rachel Nichols shared by People. "A lot of people don't know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions."
Wade's daughter Zaya, who turns 16 next month, came out as transgender in 2020. Since then, she has fully been supported by her dad and his wife Gabrielle Union, both of whom have been outspoken about their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
"I mean, obviously, the taxes is great. Having Wade County is great," he added. "But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there, and so that's one of the reasons why I don't live there."
Florida, under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has passed numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills -- most famously what critics call the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which was signed into law in March 2022 and expanded upon just this month -- and the Florida Department of Health has taken aim at gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
Other states have introduced similar legislation and bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
In the wake of such policies, families like Wade's are either moving from these states or are considering it -- though not all are able to for myriad reasons, including the high cost of uprooting a family to move out of state.
"Most families in the U.S. don't have the financial and job flexibility necessary to move," John Pachankis, Ph.D. , a clinical psychologist and professor at the Yale School of Public Health, who has studied the mental health impacts on gay and bisexual men who moved from a country with high LGTBQ stigma to one more accepting of them, told ABC News last year.
"Families with higher income have more ability to move, but when families do move, they likely relinquish the social capital, and possibly even some of the economic capital, that they've accumulated in their hometowns."
According to Pachankis, moving away from states with discriminatory laws and policies can be stressful in the short term "because of the disruptions and uncertainties associated with moving," however, in the long term, it can be beneficial.
"Our research conducted across 44 countries shows that for gay men who move from homophobic countries to more supportive countries, it takes at least five years before the negative mental health impact of moving from a homophobic country dissipates," Pachankis said. "But thereafter, our research shows that individuals who move to a more supportive location experience lower odds of depression and suicidality because they are less likely to hide their identities and are less socially isolated."