Life

Zaya Wade’s stepmom & brother just shared amazing messages of support for her transition

Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade, and their family.
Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade, and their familyPhoto: EllenTube screenshot

Gabrielle Union, the actress and wife of NBA player Dwyane Wade, proudly shared a video of her transgender 12-year-old daughter Zaya discussing the importance of staying true to yourself in the face of public disapproval.

Also, Zaya’s older brother Zaire shared a touching Instagram post offering love and support to his young sister.

Related: Dwyane Wade’s daughter is transgender & he’s the best dad she could have

Union’s and Zaire’s posts not only show a family being supportive of their family member who just started her transition, but they also show the confidence and beauty young people can radiate when given the love and encouragement they deserve.

Union’s Twitter post had a video of Zaya driving a golf cart and saying, “[To young people] afraid they will be judged, I would say, don’t even think about that, just be true to yourself because… what’s the point of being on this Earth if you’re going to try to be someone you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself which is the dumbest concept to me…. Just be true and don’t even care what the ‘stereotypical’ way of being you is.”

Her father asked, “Even when people are being mean and even when people are pert… even through that, you still want people to make sure that they live their truth?”

“Yeah,” Zaya responded. “I know things can get tough. Definitely. But I think you can push through and you be the best you.”

“Even though there’s a lot of people out there who [are] still obviously set morally, like, back in their day’s way [and] mind. I think even through hard times, you gotta … just push through. It’s worth it. I feel like it’s very worth it when you reach that point of yourself.”

“Of feeling free, of feeling like you,” her father said. “Of feeling like you don’t have to hide.”

“Yeah,” she replied. “Like, if you could look in the mirror and say hi to yourself, like, ‘Nice to meet you,’ instead of ‘Ehh, I don’t really know who I am.’ It’s like a full identity crisis.”

Here’s Union’s video of Zaya sharing her outlook on living authentically:

In a separate Instagram post, Zaya’s older brother Zaire wrote a supportive message about his sister. It read:

Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of.

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.

He continued, “I’ve told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are 10 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 ✊🏾.”

Earlier this week, Union thanked everyone who has helped provide information about how she can better support Zaya. Her husband has been especially supportive as well: They both attended Pride with Zaya in June 2019 and he stood up for Zaya when Instagram users criticized her for wearing a crop-top and painted nails in early December 2019. That same month, he discussed the importance of supporting queer children on a podcast in December 2019.

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