Dwyane Wade And Gabrielle Union Got Candid About Supporting Transgender Daughter Zaya After Her Name Change Was Approved

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade receiving the President's Award at the NAACP Image Awards
(Image credit: BET)

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have served as staunch advocates for the LGBTQ+ community in recent years since their daughter, Zaya, came out as transgender. The Hollywood power couple and their family have received both support and backlash for backing their daughter’s name change and transition. Until recently, a legal battle was also playing out in court regarding her name and, ultimately, the court ruled in favor of the change. Union and Wade got candid, after the fact, about supporting their daughter.

The Wades’ eldest daughter won her case to legally change her name after her mother filed an objection last year to stop it. In the decision, the judge also ruled that her gender would be changed on documents. ET caught up with the proud parents days later at the NAACP Image Awards, where the married couple received the President’s Award for the advocacy work for the LGBTQ+ community. Gabrielle Union was jovial, as she relayed how her daughter was feeling after the court's decision:

Last night she was so happy and we were just like *sings* 'Say my name, say my name, 'cause to some people it just feels like paperwork but to her it's her truth and it's her reality and we support that.

It's unfortunate that the couple's 15-year-old daughter has faced scrutiny since coming out as transgender in 2020. Gabrielle Union seemed unfazed by the discourse over her stepdaughter’s sexual identity, though. The actress actually showed grace to those who've shared negative remark, as she pointed out why the constant chatter is so divisive:

I think there's a lot of hurt people out there and a lot of scared people out there who project their hurt and fears, unfortunate childhood trauma onto other people. I think that's what we're seeing across the board so I pray for those people while we celebrate ours.

The Bring it On icon is used to being in the spotlight and knows what comes with it. She deserves plenty of props for taking the high ground when it comes to handling the ignorance. Zaya Wade herself has refrained from making any remarks, as her parents keep her away from social media outside of the occasional post.

As the world continues talking about his daughter, Dwyane Wade has found himself bothered by the online chatter at times. Wade also understands that “the temperature” isn’t the best for the transgender community right now, and that folks still need to educate themselves. In the midst of all of that, the former NBA player has already has set a firm goal for himself in regard to his kid:

Even though we wish our 15-year-old daughter could just be and just go under the radar, her calling is bigger. So we're gonna use this opportunity to continue to keep speaking, continue to keep supporting -- until we get change… She's a 15-year-old girl who just wants to be a 15-year-old and I think in the midst of it, we understand that you know responsibility is great. We're gonna try until she gets that microphone and she can show the world who Zaya is. We're gonna continue to try to lead the way Zaya would want us to lead with our voices, with our eyes and with our ears.

Zaya Wade is incredibly fortunate to have her father and stepmother in her corner, as she embraces her true self. And the comments the two shared with ET are only part of the way in which they showed love for the young lady. Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade gave her a shout-out during their moving speech at the NAACP Image Awards. Look at the touching clip below:

While the couple continues advocating for the rights of their daughter and others, they still share fun family moments that involve matching Bring It On costumes or their youngest daughter, Kaavia, channeling Ariel effortlessly. You can't help but love that the celebrity parents are so supportive of their kid, and one can only hope that other parents or guardians will follow their example.

In the meantime, you can catch Gabrielle Union in various projects across multiple platforms by using a Disney+ subscription or an Apple TV+ subscription. Her latest small-screen production is the third season of Truth Be Told, which can be streamed with the latter membership and drops episodes on Fridays as part of the 2023 TV schedule.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).