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Zaya Wade Legally Granted Name & Gender Change

Zaya Wade Legally Granted Name & Gender Change

zaya wade and gabrielle union

Her parents, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, also made a powerful speech in honor of their daughter.

It was a great day for the Wade-Union household, and an especially great day for Zaya Wade, as a judge approved the 15-year-old trans girl’s legal name and gender change on Friday.

Zaya first came out three years ago when basketball legend Dwyane Wade revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he and his wife, acting icon Gabrielle Union, are “proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community” and that their then-12-year-old was going by the name Zaya and she/her pronouns.

Her parents have been nothing but supportive so far, both in private and in public, and they showed that support again in a speech they made over the weekend.

Wade and Union recently made said powerful speech about their daughter and the journey all trans youth are going through in America right now at the NAACP Image Awards over the weekend. The couple won the President’s Award at the ceremony.

Wade started by saying how proud he is and how much he admires his daughter for going out into the world every day as the person she is. “You taught me that communication with my mouth isn’t enough. I have to also communicate with my two ears and my two eyes. As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself or direct your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes, your dreams. Zaya, you’ve made me a better human, just simply by being who you were born to be, our baby girl, Zaya Wade.”

Union spoke next, saying that the award was humbling, but that now is a time to fight, not just for some, but “for all of our people.”

“Let’s just name a couple of hard truths,” Union said. “The intersection of Black rights and the rights of the LGBTQIA, trans and gender non-conforming people continues to be rough, that’s a huge overstatement.”

“Even as we demand equality at the top of our lungs, we consistently fail to extend our advocacy to protect some of our most vulnerable among us,” she continued. “Black trans people are being targeted, terrorized and hunted in this country. Every day, everywhere. And there’s rarely a whisper about it.”

“This is a conversation worth having in ways that can actually build bridges, right? That don’t fan the flames of hatred or division. That don’t enable lawmakers or justice systems to look the other way when Black trans people are under attack,” she said. “That don’t drive more young people to hate themselves or harm themselves. That don’t cost people their lives.”

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