Living her truth. Dwyane Wade’s 12-year-old daughter, Zaya, is “being true” to herself after coming out as transgender — and has advice for others struggling to find that freedom.
“Don’t even think about [being judged], just be true to yourself,” the preteen explained to her dad, 38, in a Tuesday, February 11, video tweeted by Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union. “What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re trying to be something you’re not? It’s like you’re not even living as yourself, which is, like, the dumbest concept to me. Be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being you is.”
When the former professional basketball player asked about doing this in the face of bullying, his daughter said, “I know it can get tough, definitely, but I think you push through and you be the best you. Especially [since] more recently, it’s become a more accepting even though there’s obviously a lot of people who are still set morally back in their ways. I think even though hard times, you gotta just push through. It’s worth it. I feel like it’s very worth it when you reach that point. You can look in the mirror and say to yourself like, ‘Hi, nice to meet you,’ instead of like, I don’t even know who I am, like, a full identity crisis.”
Union, 47, captioned 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.”
The actress shared the footage the same day that the athlete spoke about his daughter coming out as transgender on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. While Zaya was “born as a boy” and “originally named Zion,” she recently sat down with her dad and stepmom to share her story.
“[She] said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” the former Miami Heat player recalled. “Now it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have.”
Wade went on to tell Ellen DeGeneres, “When our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it.”
The former NBA player shares daughters Zaire, 18, and Zaya with his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches. He welcomed son Xavier, 6, in 2013 with Aja Metoyer and daughter Kaavia, 15 months, in November 2018 with Union.
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