Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s 13-year-old daughter Zaya came out as transgender last year and has since become a positive voice for other transgender people.
Wade told told Yahoo! Entertainment, “When I look at Zaya, I get hope. Because I’m like, okay, we raised [our kids] to be authentic.” The 39-year-old former basketball star is also dad to 19-year-old son Zaire, who is from a previous relationship, 7-year-old son Xavier, whom he also shares with an ex, and 2-year-old daughter with Union, Kaavia James.
Zaya was 3 years old when Wade and Union said they began discussing “possibilities” for her future, and they “decided to approach it a different way,” Wade said. “I come from a locker room of a macho, male-dominant sport. But I started learning and I started to watch her. And from then on we started having more conversations.”
Zaya came out as transgender to her family first before making it public. 48-year-old Union recalled, “I didn’t have many resources, so I just reached out to everyone I knew from social media. Everyone responded with love, resources and information.”
“We weren’t coming into it like it’s got to be our way,” Union said. “We’re going to mess up. We’re going to say the wrong thing. But we had to learn and be led.”
Today, the couple are vocal activists in the LGBTQ+ community through their Wade Family Foundation, and are outspoken about what is acceptable and what they’ll never tolerate when it comes to the safety of their family members.
Union declared, “Our home will never be a safe space for bigots. I look at problematic language as violence and I’m never going to expose anyone I love to violence, whether that be verbal, physical, emotional or spiritual. Jerks exist in every area of life. And we function from a place of truth in our household. But if you come at us, oh, be very prepared.”
Wade and Union have been married since 2014. Union said that “We want to make sure [our kids] feel strong and supported and free to be exactly who they are.” Wade added, “What I love about our home is that everybody is unique. And we allow their uniqueness to shine.”