Gabrielle Union Introduces Dwyane Wade's Transgender Daughter, Zaya, To The World

The "Being Mary Jane" star praised her 12-year-old stepdaughter for deciding to live as her authentic self.
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Gabrielle Union had nothing but kudos for her 12-year-old stepdaughter, Zaya, whose family publicly introduced her as transgender this week.

The 鈥淟.A.鈥檚 Finest鈥 and 鈥淏eing Mary Jane鈥 star praised Zaya as 鈥渃ompassionate鈥 and 鈥渨hip smart鈥 on Twitter Tuesday, just as her husband, Dwyane Wade, was making an appearance on 鈥The Ellen DeGeneres Show.鈥

In his chat with DeGeneres, Wade recalled the moment Zaya came out to him as trans and said he and Union were committed to giving his daughter 鈥渢he best opportunity to be her best self.鈥

On Twitter, Union went a step further by allowing Zaya to speak for herself. In a short video included with one of the tweets, Zaya is seen riding in a golf cart with her father while encouraging others to embrace their authentic selves.

鈥淏e true, and don鈥檛 really care what the stereotypical way of being you is,鈥 Zaya says in the clip. 鈥淚 know it can get tough, definitely, but I think you push through and you be the best you.鈥

Wade 鈥 who is also dad to Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 18, Xavier Zechariah, 6, and Kaavia James, 15 months 鈥 said Tuesday that he and Union had been actively reaching out to members of the LGBTQ community, including the stars of FX鈥檚 鈥淧ose,鈥 as Zaya made her gender identity known.

Union expressed her gratitude to all who provided 鈥渋nformation, resources, love [and] encouragement鈥 on her family鈥檚 journey.

Union and Wade, who have been married since 2014, came under fire last year after posting photos of Zaya, then 11 years old, attending an LGBTQ Pride event on social media.

Wade, however, shrugged off the criticism.

鈥淚鈥檓 very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it,鈥 the retired NBA star told Variety in June. 鈥淚鈥檓 doing what every parent has to do. Once you bring kids into this world, you become unselfish.鈥

鈥淚t鈥檚 my job to be their role model, to be their voice in my kids鈥 lives, to let them know you can conquer the world,鈥 he continued. 鈥淪o go and be your amazing self, and we鈥檙e going to sit back and just love you.鈥