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Dwyane Wade’s 12-year-old trans daughter Zaya has an incredible lesson for us all about self-acceptance

Emma Powys Maurice February 12, 2020
Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade and his daughter Zaya (Twitter/@itsgabrielleu)

The 12-year-old trans daughter of basketball legend Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union showed she is wiser than her years with a poignant speech about learning to be “true to yourself”.

NBA star Dwyane Wade recently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where he spoke about the moment his daughter came out as trans and asked to be called Zaya.

A day after the interview aired, Zaya instantly became our favourite new inspirational speaker when her mother shared a video of her delivering some home truths while confidently driving a golf buggy.

Casually discussing her dysphoria with her father, Zaya asks: “What’s the point in being on this Earth if you’re going to try to be someone you’re not?

“It’s like you’re not even living as yourself, which is the dumbest concept to me… Just be true and don’t really care what the stereotypical way of being is.”

“Even when people are being mean, even when people are getting hurt because they’re trying to be themselves?” Wade said. “Even through that, you still want people to make sure that they live their truth?”

“Yeah, I know that it can get tough, definitely, but I think you push through and be the best you,” Zaya replied. She noted that although times have become more accepting there are many people who are still set in their ways, but “you’ve gotta just push through.”

Dwyane Wade holding his daughter Kaavia James, with his child Zion and his wife Gabrielle Union on a grand staircase
Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union and their children Zaya, 12 and Kaavia James, one. (Instagram)

“I mean, it’s worth it, I feel like it’s very worth it, when you reach that point of [accepting] yourself,” she concluded.

“Feeling free, feeling like you,” Dwyane prompted. “Feeling like you don’t have to hide.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “Like you can look in the mirror and say ‘Hi’ to yourself, ‘Nice to meet you,’ instead of, ‘I don’t really know who I am.’ It’s like a full-on identity crisis.”

Proud mum Gabrielle Union captioned the video: “Meet Zaya. She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s OK to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”

We can’t wait to get to know her.

More: coming out, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, NBA, transgender kids, Zaya Wade

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