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Gabrielle Union’s step-daughter Zaya opens up about coming out as transgender

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Gabrielle Union has shared an inspiring video of her step-daughter Zaya discussing coming out as transgender

On Tuesday, the actor posted the clip on her Twitter and Instagram alongside the caption: “Meet Zaya. She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her.

“It’s ok to listen to, love and respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”


Filmed by Union’s basketball player husband Dwayne Wade, the video showed 12-year-old Zaya speaking frankly about the pressures of trying to fit in.

“I would say you know, just be true to yourself, because what’s the point of being on this earth if you’re gonna try to be someone you’re not? [sic]” she said.

“It’s just like, be true and don’t care about the stereotypical way of like being you is. [sic]” 

When asked by her father about coping with people’s negative responses, Zaya responded: “I know it can get tough, but I think you push through and you be the best to you, and especially more recently, it’s become more accepting.

“I think even through hard times, you’ve got to just push through. I feel like it’s very worth it when you reach that point of yourself.

“You can look in the mirror and say hi to yourself, like ‘Nice to meet you’ instead of like, ‘I don’t really know who I am’.”

The video has since been viewed more than two million times on Union’s Instagram and received hundreds of comments from well-wishers, including the family’s celebrity friends.

Actor Jessica Alba wrote: “Her brain and spirit is on another level – we should all rise to that consciousness”, while Mindy Kaling added: “Hello Zaya! I feel lucky to meet you.”

On Twitter, Union followed the video with a second tweet in which she thanked people who have shared messages of support.

“Huge huge huge THANK YOU to everyone who’s dms I slid into, friends and family who provided information, resources, love and encouragement,” she wrote.

“We are humble LGBTQ+ allies with ALOT to learn and grateful for all the support. We encourage y’all to check us needed! Again, thank you! [sic]”

Earlier this week, Wade spoke about how proud he is of Zaya and said he wanted to give her “the best opportunity to be her best self”.

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wade spoke about the moment his child, who was born Zion, announced her wish to be referred to as Zaya and with “she” and “her” pronouns.

The sports star stated that the 12-year-old 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.”