Yesterday, Dwyane Wade revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that 12-year-old Zaya has stepped into her authentic self by unapologetically embracing who she is.
And proud step-mom Gabrielle Union took to social media to share her love and support as well.
The actress and activist wrote on Twitter, “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.”
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s support of Zaya is inspiring and crucial.
According to Reuters, “About 30 percent of transgender female teens—who identify as female but have birth certificates that label them as male—have tried suicide at least once, as have 28 percent of adolescents who are questioning their gender identity.”
Zaya wants to offer advice to young people who may be going through a similar situation.
“What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re gonna try to be someone you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself, which is like the dumbest concept to me,” said Zaya in the video posted by Union. “It’s just like, be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is. Even through hard times, you gotta push through. It’s worth it when you reach that point of yourself.”
Previously, Wade has said Union helped him to be more open-minded with Zaya’s identity. On DeGenres’ show, he expounded on his experience being her parent.
“First of all, me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well. We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously,” he said. “So, when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything it’s our job as parents to listen to that to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can, and that doesn’t change now that sexuality [and gender] is involved.
“Once Zaya,” he continued, “a 12-year-old came home — first Zion… I don’t know if everybody knows, originally named Zion born as a boy — once Zaya came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think, going forward, I’m ready to live my truth,” saying her pronoun would be “she” and that she would go by the name Zaya.
Wade has two sons, Zaire, 18, Xavier, 6, and custody of his nephew, Dahveon, 17. In November of 2018, Union and Wade welcomed their first daughter together, Kaavia James, via a surrogate.
Watch the clip of the interview here.