During their acceptance speech at the 2023 NCAAP Image Awards, Dwyane Wade and wife Gabrielle Union-Wade, specifically gave their support for the LGBTQ+ community and their transgender daughter, Zaya.
The couple took to the stage to accept the NAACP president’s award for their philanthropy, considering their support for organizations that seek to provide healthcare and support for queer and trans patients. However, during their speech, they admitted their support for these issues doesn’t stem from activism and rather comes from wanting to support their 15-year-old transgender daughter.
“We honestly don’t approach this work as activists or leaders as much as we do this as parents,” Union-Wade explained. “Parents who love our children and will do whatever the hell we can to keep them seen and secure and safe.”
She also noted the rise of Anti-LGBT bills being penned to Congress at an alarming rate, expressing her disdain for such behaviors. “The intersection of Black rights and the rights of the LGBTQIA, trans, and gender non-conforming people continues to be rough,” she said. “Even as we demand equality at the top of our lungs, we consistently fail to extend our advocacy to protect some of our most vulnerable.”
Given that his daughter is a member of said vulnerable group, a transgender young woman of color, the former basketball player was quick to pay tribute to his daughter Zaya. “I admire how you handle the ignorance in our world,” Wade shared, specifically speaking to Zaya. “As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself that directs your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes, your dreams.”
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are excited to see Zaya ‘live her truth’
The NCAAP Image Awards came only a few days after Zaya’s legal name change was granted by a Los Angeles judge. Union and Wade also exclusively discussed this in an interview after the event with ET’s Kevin Frazier.
“To some people, it just feels like paperwork, but to her it’s it’s her truth, and it’s her reality, and we support that,” she explained. “She’s incredibly smart, incredibly bright, and a phenomenal leader. I’m just happy for her that she gets to be exactly who she is.”
“Even though we wish our 15-year-old daughter could just be and just go under the radar, her calling is bigger,” Wade added, speaking highly of his daughter. “So we’re gonna use this opportunity to continue to keep speaking, continue to keep supporting — until we get change.”
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