Supporting their children for who they are is actually difficult for some people, but it’s not a problem for actress Gabrielle Union. Union recently spoke on how she and her husband, NBA legend Dwyane Wade, deal with the hate and criticism surrounding their transgender daughter Zaya Wade.
In her recent cover story with Variety, Gabrielle Union discussed the unconditional love that she and Dwyane Wade have for Zaya and the “encouraging” support they have received in the face of the hate and transphobia directed at them.
“With all of the love comes the hate too. It’s watching the love handle the hate that has been encouraging. We’re just loving and accepting our kids, which is not revolutionary. To some people it’s nuts,” says Union. “For those people who have spoken out so publicly against our family, many more have rallied in support of the family. I’m not standing on my own. The cavalry is arriving, and they are unafraid to stand in their truth and not be compromising when we look at right and wrong.”
12-year-old Zaya Wade was born as Zion, but she came out as a transgender girl during February 2020, changing her name from Zion to Zaya and using feminine pronouns to refer to herself rather than masculine ones. Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade have not been shy about defending Zaya’s sexuality in the past and have openly supported her since she came out. “When our child comes home with an issue, 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,” says Wade. “And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”
Dwyane Wade had Zaya and her elder brother, 18-year-old Zaire Wade, with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches. He also has a 6-year-old son, Xavier Wade, with his ex-girlfriend Aja Metoyer. Gabrielle Union and Wade have been married since 2014 and share their 1-year-old daughter Kaavia Wade.