'You're a leader': Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union introduce trans daughter Zaya

Social media showed love and support to the 12-year-old, who was previously known as Zion

12 February 2020 - 11:13 By khanyisile ngcobo
Dwyane Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have introduced the world to their transgender daughter, Zaya Wade.
Dwyane Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have introduced the world to their transgender daughter, Zaya Wade.
Image: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Compassionate, world-changer and wise.

These were some of words used to describe Zaya Wade, who was formally introduced to the world as being transgender by her father, retired basketball star Dwyane Wade and stepmother Gabrielle Union on Tuesday.

Wade spoke about his daughter's journey and their support for her and the LGBTQ+ community in a moving interview with Ellen DeGeneres. 

“First of all, me and my wife, my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud. When I say proud, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community. And we're proud allies as well.

“And we take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously ... So once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — first Zion everybody, I don't know if everyone knows, named Zion, Zion born as a boy — came home and said, 'Hey so I want to talk to you guys. I think, going forward, I want to live my truth and I want to be referenced as she and her'.”

Union meanwhile, took to social media to introduce “compassionate, whip-smart” Zaya.

She also shared a video of Zaya encouraging people afraid of being judged to “not even think about that” and “stay true to yourself”.

Wade's interview and Union's post garnered much reaction online, with celebrities and social media users praising Zaya for her bravery and her parents for supporting the youngster.