Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade's Daughter Makes Her Red Carpet Debut as Zaya
"Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself, her name is Zaya Wade!"
Ladies and gentleman, introducing Zaya Wade.
On Saturday night, the 12-year-old walked her first red carpet since coming out as transgender at the Better Brothers Los Angeles 2020 Truth Awards alongside her parents, Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union.
At the event, the trio twinned in coordinating Richfresh suits and jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz per Zaya's styling request. Dwyane opted for a colorblock jacket with a fuchsia dress shirt underneath and black trousers, while Gabrielle wore similar separates and an emerald cut-out top. Zaya, for her part, tied her mom and dad's looks together with a green tuxedo jacket, tailored black pants with pink accents, and a matching clutch.
According to E! News, in a speech during the award show, Dwyane commented on Zaya's transition and how they navigated her journey as a family. “When our 8-year-old daughter, Zaya Wade, came home and said she had something to tell us, when she came out to us, as a family, we admitted that weren't as educated about the LGBTQ+ community as we should have been,” he said, before revealing that they reached out to close friends, a male couple, for further advice.
"They also reminded us to make sure Zaya knew her community and felt the love and support inside and outside from home," Dwyane continued. "From working closely with Zaya to design her room in our homes to make sure that her most authentic self was represented and that her bedroom felt like her sanctuary. Now, that may seem small, but taking the time to make sure Zaya felt seen and heard as she created her own space for us was key. It was key to Zaya's comfort and her confidence."
Later that evening, Dwyane took to Instagram to formally introduce everyone to Zaya (formerly known as Zion). “Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself her name is Zaya Wade!” he began his caption of a photo of Zaya in full modeling mode. “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. She has emerged as one of the young faces and voices for the LGBTQ+ community.”
In February, Gabrielle invited people to "meet Zaya" for the first time in a video posted to Twitter, in which the pre-teen discusses the importance of being who you are. "[To anyone] who is afraid they're going to be judged, I would say don't even think about that. Just be true to yourself, because what's the point of even living on this earth if you're going to try to be someone you're not?" she said. "It's like you're not even living as yourself. Be true and don't really care what the 'stereotypical' way of being you is."
Looks like we all could learn a lesson or two from Zaya.