Dwyane Wade‘s daughter, Zaya, is wise beyond her years. Shortly after her father announced that she had come out as transgender, the 12-year-old spoke out on Twitter in a video posted to stepmom Gabrielle Union‘s Twitter account. You can watch it below! In the sweet clip, filmed while driving with Dwyane in a golf cart, Zaya explains why it’s so important for people to stay “true to yourself” even when times are tough. “If [you] are afraid to be judged, I would say, don’t even think about that,” Zaya says. “Just be true to yourself. Are you really even… like, what’s the point of being 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. It’s just like, be true and don’t worry about the ‘stereotypical’ way of being you is.”
Dwyane, 38, gently reminds her that some people are scared to be themselves because of others’ cruelty. “I know it can be tough,” Zaya replies. “Definitely. But I think you push through, and be the best you. Especially more recently; it’s become more accepting. Even though there’s still a lot of people out there who are upset… But I think that even in hard times, you just gotta push through. I mean, it’s worth it. I think it’s very worth it when you reach that point of yourself.” It’s really hard to believe that Zaya is only 12 when she speaks so eloquently about things that some adults have trouble articulating. She’s incredible!
“Feeling free. Feeling like you don’t need to hide,” Dwayne says to his daughter. “When you can look in the mirror and say ‘hi’ to yourself. ‘Nice to meet you.’ Instead of like, ‘mmm I don’t really know who I am.’ It’s like a full identity crisis,” Zaya responds, thoughtfully. The video ends with Dwyane looked into the camera, clearly stunned by his amazing little girl. Gabrielle, 47, wrote a loving message to Zaya when she tweeted the video: “Meet Zaya. 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.”
Meet Zaya. 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. pic.twitter.com/G2lLVdD2VT
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 11, 2020
Dwyane announced Zaya’s big news while appearing on Ellen, on February 11. Dwyane explained that Zaya, whom he shares with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches (he has full custody), came to him and Gabrielle and told them she wanted to be referred to by feminine pronouns. “We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Dwyane said. “We’re proud allies, as well. We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question or an issue or anything, it’s our job as parents to listen and give them the best information and feedback that we can. That doesn’t change because sexuality is involved with it.”