Meet Zaya, the 'compassionate, loving, whip smart' trans daughter of Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade

Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Zaya, Zaire and Xavier (Instagram/dwyanewade)
Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Zaya, Zaire and Xavier (Instagram/dwyanewade)

"What's the point of being on this earth if you're going to be someone you're not?" asks Zaya, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade's transgender daughter in a video shared by her mom.

In the clip on Instagram titled Meet Zaya, the Being Mary Jane star shared that their daughter, born Zion, will now go by Zaya and has requested her parents use she/her pronouns.

In the clip the 12-year-old talks about the importance of being "true to yourself". "I know it can get tough, definitely, but I think you push through and you be the best you." Zaya went on to say that even if you get bullied because a lot of people are still set in their ways, you have to try and be your true self.

"It's worth it. It's very worth it. When you reach that point of, like, yourself," she said, before Dwyane asks in the video if it's like "feeling free" – "feeling like you don't have to hide."

Yeah," Zaya agreed. "Like when you can look in the mirror and say 'Hi' to yourself. Like, 'Nice to meet you.'"

Gabrielle described Zaya as "compassionate", "loving" and "whip smart" in the post, before expressing how proud the family is of her.

"It's Ok to listen to, love and respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people," she wrote.


Dwyane recently appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show where he spoke about how Zaya first told them she was transgender.

"First of all me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we're proud allies as well. We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So, when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our 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, and that doesn't change now that sexuality [and gender] is involved."

Dwyane went on to say they then reached out to others who may know about than they do – for Gabrielle that included the cast and crew of Pose, which has many queer and trans people of colour working on the show, according to Out Magazine.

Dwyane added that they just wanted to support Zaya.

"I looked at her and said you are a leader," he told Ellen. "It's our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.

"Right now, it's through us because she's 12 years old," he said to the talk show host, "but eventually it will be through her."   

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