We’ve all just been reminded of the importance of being true to yourself by the singer’s amazing daughter Zaya in an inspiring video on Instagram.
World, meet Zaya Wade.
Gabrielle Union has introduced her and Dwayne Wade’s daughter to the world with a powerful Instagram video showing the 12-year-old, who has recently come out as transgender, opening up about the importance of being true to yourself.
“Meet Zaya,” Union captioned the video. “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.”
In the clip, which shows Zaya driving her dad around in a golf cart, she says: “[To anyone] who is afraid they’re going to be judged, I would say don’t even think about that. Just be true to yourself, because what’s the point of even living on this earth if you’re going to try to be someone you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself. Be true and don’t really care what the ‘stereotypical’ way of being you is.”
When Wade asks his daughter whether it’s worth it to be yourself, even when people are being mean to you or trying to harm you because of it, she says: “Yeah. I know it can get tough. Definitely. But I think you push through and you be the best you. Especially more recently it’s become more accepting, even though there are still obviously a lot of people out there who still are set more in the ‘back in their days’ way of mind. But I think even through hard times, you gotta just push through.”
Zaya’s words come shortly after her dad appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this week, where he opened up about his daughter asking himself and Union to use her new name and refer to her with she and her pronouns.
Wade told DeGeneres that as parents they believe it is important to listen to their children and to ensure that they had all the resources they need. “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,” he said, revealing Union had reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose.
Many people have showed their support of Zaya and her family, including many of their celebrity friends. Ellen Pompeo commented on the post: “So important. So impactful. So many kids will be inspired by her and her truth.” Meanwhile, Reese Witherspoon added, “I love this! What incredible parents you are.”
Chrissy Teigen also posted a “Gabrielle Union appreciation post” to Instagram. She wrote: “There is no one like this woman. I cannot even tell you how hard I work to find her at every event, knowing she will be the one to say all the best things, make me laugh from deep in my gut and… just be normal and wonderful in a sea of weirdos. She tells it like it is, unapologetically, is the most fiercely loyal human being I’ve ever known and as proven today, the love she and @dwaynewade have for their family is unmatched. They are so, so lucky to have each other and we are so, so lucky to have them in this world.”
Union herself took to social media afterwards to share her gratitude for “everyone whose dms I slid into, friends, & family who provided information, resources, love & encouragement”. She added: “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!”