Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Introduce 12-Year-Old Zaya: 'We Are So Proud of Her'
By Antoinette Bueno
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Gabrielle Union is ready for everyone to meet Zaya.
On Tuesday, Union tweeted a touching video of husband Dwyane Wade and his 12-year-old child, Zaya, on a golf cart together, with Zaya talking about being true to one's self. Wade and Union have been open about fully supporting Zaya, who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community and was born with the name Zion.
"Don't even worry about that, just be true to yourself," Zaya says to those who worry about being judged. "What's the point of being on this earth if you're just going to try to be someone you're not? It's like, you're not even living your true self, which is like, the dumbest concept to me. Be true and don't really care what the stereotypical way of being you is."
Wade then asks what she thinks about trying to be true to oneself even when "people are being mean" or people are being hurt because they want to be true to themselves.
"I know it can get tough, definitely," Zaya responds. "But I think you can push through, and you be the best you and especially more recently, it's become more accepting. ... But I think even through bad times, you just gotta push through. It's worth it. I feel like it's very worth it when you reach that point of like, yourself."
"You can look in the mirror and say hi to yourself, 'nice to meet you,' instead of, like, I don't even know who I am," she continues. "It's like, full identity crisis."
Union tweeted alongside the video, "Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people."
Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT
Union's tweet got plenty of support from her celebrity friends, including Natalie Portman, Katie Couric, Reese Witherspoon and more.
"I love this!" Witherspoon commented. "What incredible parents you are."
Meanwhile, Ellen Pompeo tweeted, "So important So impactful So many kids will be inspired by her and her truth."
Later, Union took to Twitter once again to thank fans for their outpouring of love and support.
"Huge huge huge THANK YOU to everyone whose dms I slid into, friends, & family who provided information, resources, love & encouragement," she wrote. "We are humble LGBTQ+ allies with ALOT to learn & grateful for all the support."
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 🤗 Again, thank you!
"First of all, me and my wife, my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud... parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community. And we're proud allies as well," he said. "And we take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously."
"So when a child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a 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," he continued. "And that doesn't change because sexuality's now involved in it."
Wade opened up about the moment when Zaya shared that she wanted to be referred to with female pronouns.
"Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home... and said, 'Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I'm ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as 'she' and 'her.' I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,'" the NBA star recalled. "And so internally, now it's our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have."
"Once Zion came home and said, 'Hey, you call me Zaya. I'm ready to take on this,' I looked at her and said, 'You are a leader. You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice,'" he continued. "Right now it's through us because she's 12 years old. But eventually, it'll be through her."