Photo credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Gabrielle Union has taken to social media to gush about her 12-year-old step-daughter, who now goes by the name Zaya.
“Meet Zaya. She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her,” Gabrielle Union wrote on Twitter, alongside a video of Zaya and her father Dwayne Wade driving in a golf cart.
“It’s ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”
In the video, Zaya discusses being “true to yourself”, even through the toughest of times, adding that it is really worth it in the end…
“I would say, just be true to yourself — what’s the point of being on this earth if you’re going to try and be someone you’re not… be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is,” Zaya says in the video.
“I know it can get tough, but I think you push through and be the best you. It’s become more accepting. Even through hard times you gotta push through, it’s very worth it. When you can look in the mirror and say ‘hi’ to yourself.”
Gabrielle Union’s proud social media post comes shortly after husband Dwayne Wade appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about the moment Zaya came out to him…
“So once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — first Zion, I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion, born as a boy — came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her, I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” he said, while confirming that she also wants to be referred to by she/her pronouns.
“So internally, it’s now our job to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have — my wife reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose — we’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self.
“Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’”
Gabrielle Union also posted another message on social media, thanking everyone who has supported the family since the news broke…
“Huge huge huge THANK YOU to everyone who’s 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. We encourage y’all to check us needed! Again, thank you!”
Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade are the epitome of parent goals!