Gabrielle Union got incredibly candid with Jemele Hill about the pressure she and husband, Dwyane Wade, face to ‘sacrifice Zaya,’ Dwyane’s 13-year-old trans daughter, as they support her and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Gabrielle Union will never back down when it comes to supporting her family. The resilient actress, 47, spoke candidly with sports journalist Jemele Hill on the July 27 episode of her podcast, Jemele Hill is Unbothered, to discuss a number of topics — most importantly her undeterred attitude when it comes to letting her and Dwyane Wade‘s 13-year-old transgender daughter, Zaya, live her most authentic life. “We are losing our Black and brown trans sisters at an alarming and frightening rate and, if we’re not doing everything in our power to get it right, we’re sacrificing more of us,” Gabrielle shared during the latter half of the episode.
Gabrielle even admitted that there are people who want her and Dwyane “to sacrifice Zaya,” in the process. “I’ve literally been called a witch and I’m like, what the f***? Because there’s this notion that we can’t all exist as we are and for anyone of us to exist in any kind of different sort of way in all of our beauty and splendor and wonderful selves we should cast them out,” she continued.
In the time that Gabrielle and Dwyane have come out to proudly support Zaya they, too, have learned a lot. “We all had to educate ourselves because we weren’t,” Gabrielle admitted. “We didn’t understand the trauma and the harm that’s caused by misgendering someone.” As her family has grown and learned so much from Zaya, Gabrielle affirmed that she will never back down from those who are prejudice.
“We will never turn our back on our baby and we’re not going to turn our back on your baby either,” Gabrielle told Jemele. “We’re always going to fight for the most marginalized. And if that takes more education for us then you have to humble yourself; ‘shush’ before you center yourself as an ally, we have to just keep doing that. And it’s not about our ego; it’s about safety.”
Since Dwyane and Gabrielle shared that Zaya identified as a trans girl and uses she/her pronouns in February 2020, they have been nothing but supportive of their daughter, whom Dwyane shares from a previous relationship. Following the February announcement, both Dwyane and Gabrielle took to their respective social media accounts to share how inspired they are by her, and how much they are “learning” from her, too.
But there has been a faction that continuously tries to deter Zaya and her family from embracing her true self. To that end, Dwyane, Gabrielle, and their family have taken on transphobic comments, bullies, trolls and more to ensure Zaya’s safety and wellbeing. In May, Zaya turned 13 years old and ushered in her teenage years with her adoring parents. We cannot wait to see what the inspiring young girl does. With the support of her family — namely Gabrielle and Dwyane — the sky is the limit for Zaya.