Zaya Wade, 12, Makes Public Debut After Coming Out As Transgender Next To Proud Parents

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union stood by their transgender daughter Zaya's side on stage at the Truth Awards and gave a touching speech about the importance of being a 'leader' in the LGBTQ community.

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Dwyane Wade, 38, and Gabrielle Union, 47, were two of the proudest allies of the LGBTQ community when they joined their daughter Zaya, 12, for her first red carpet appearance ever at the 6th annual Truth Awards on Mar. 7. The couple attended the event, which celebrates achievements in the LGBTQ community, and spoke openly about their journey in raising a transgender child to the large crowd of supporters. Gabrielle told the crowd that it was really important for Zaya’s first red carpet appearance to be at a special event that embraced her as a transgender female and explained how literally showing up for those in the LGBTQ community means more than speaking out on social media and/or donating money. “Real allies actually show up,” she said on stage while being met with cheers. “It goes beyond tweets and retweets and a check here and there. You actually need to show up and you got to be on the front lines and you got to show what leadership actually looks like.”

Dwyane also spoke about the time when Zaya first told him she was transgender and what he’s learned about the situation. He talked about how he and Gabrielle were initially not educated about the LGBTQ community and turned to friends for advice. After speaking to the friends, they went on to take the proper action to make sure Zaya felt accepted and supported and even helped her change the style of her bedroom into what she wanted it to be so she could have her own safe haven.

In addition to speaking at the event, the loving trio stopped and posed for pics in their stylish matching attire. Dwyane wore a black and white blazer over a pink button-down shirt and black pants while Gabrielle wore a black and white blazer over a green criss cross crop top and black and white pants. Zaya wore a green blazer over a silky green button-down and black pants with a pink stripe.

After the Truth Awards, Dwyane, who shares Zaya with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, 38, took to Instagram to share pictures from the eventful night and captioned one of the posts with a positive message about his daughter. “Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself her name is Zaya Wade! Last night was Zaya’s first red carpet and we couldn’t have been prouder of how she handled the questions that were asked of her,” the caption read. “She has emerged as one of the young faces and voices for the LGBTQ+ community. #truthawards”

Dwyane first confirmed that Zaya was transgender during his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Feb. “We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Dwyane told Ellen in his interview. “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. Once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home — originally Zion, born as a boy — and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys, I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.’ Internally, it’s now our job to go out and get information.”

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