Good parenting also has its origins in mutual respect and compassion. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union offer what each child deserves to their daughter Zaya: loving parents and a loan face. Zaya, who grows up with the stigma of being in the public eye, has become a symbol of the social conversation that encompasses transgender experiences, especially Black transgender experiences. Hopeful times are an essential part of any move. Nice, inspiring stories offer renewed confidence to people in similar situations who might need to block out negative messages with positive ones.
Zaya and the tale of her family is a heart-warming one; a strong antidote to the unfortunate reality of the disproportionate amount of heart-rending coverage that we all too often experience about the Black Trans community. At a time when the world has not validated certain interactions and individuals, it’s important to see family stories where Black trans children are deeply loved out loud. As a psychologist, not to mention a tremendously successful basketball player, Wade may be a perfect masculinity icon for many.
His free support to his daughter should be anticipated, yet we are behind it so embarrassingly that it is a news story on the front pages. Through his promotion of the perspective of his family, he is redefining masculinity. He defines himself and his wife Union as “proud friends” after informing Ellen that he was determined to give her “the best chance to be her best self as Zaya came out to him.
Zaya finds love not only in her parents but also in her brothers, particularly her 18-year-old brother Zaire, who never misses an opportunity to remind her or even display her by acts (such as attending Miami Pride with her), just how cute she is. I feel grateful for this representation of a loving family that will potentially act as one of many blueprints for more families worldwide. Although Wade reveals that the 12-year-old Zaya is going to be a messenger for her parents right now, he tells us that she will speak directly to us one day when she is old enough. We can’t wait to see how this love makes you strong, Zaya.