Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade on 'Wildly Inspiring' Transgender Daughter

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday September 25, 2020

After being selected as one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People," actress and author Gabrielle Union and retired NBA superstar Dwyane Wade commend and celebrate their "wildly inspiring" transgender daughter, Zaya, Today reports.

In a video accompanying Union's feature, she says of her stepdaughter:

"Freedom exists in so many different forms. We are so blessed to be in a household where we have free children.

"It's beautiful to watch truly free children. We have another daughter who is 13 who has the freedom to be exactly who she is, who she was born to be, to be her most authentic self. She doesn't ask permission to exist. That is wildly inspiring."

In the essay about Union, Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement praises the actress for using her platform to "advance an agenda that deliberately celebrates the most marginalized among us, including Black women and girls and queer and trans folks."

After Zaya, age 13, came out as trans on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" earlier this year, the couple has voiced support for their daughter and the LGBTQ community on a number of occasions — on the red carpet of the March for the Truth Awards, and while presenting a trophy at the GLAAD Media Awards, during which Wade said:

"We stand as allies with the LGBTQ+ community as proud parents of a transgender child. Our daughter Zaya is leading us in our journey, and we're doing all we can to give every one of our kids the ability to live their truth."

In addition to Zaya, Union and Wade co-parent three other children including Kaavia, their one-year-old daughter; as well as Zaire, 18, and Xavier, 6, from previous relationships of Wade's.
After Zaya came out, Zaire wrote a touching post on Instagram, supportive of his sister:

"I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years. We did everything together...we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind...

"I've told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth. I don't care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there's no love lost on this side."

Read the feature on Union and see the video where she and Wade discuss Zaya at TIME.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.