Gabrielle Union says 13-year-old Zaya Wade is ‘a tremendous artist’ after shooting magazine cover
Gabrielle Union described her trans stepdaughter Zaya Wade as a “tremendous artist”, after she photographed her for a magazine cover at just 13 years old.
Union’s husband, ex-NBA player Dwyane Wade, revealed that his daughter Zaya is transgender in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in February, ahead of the release of a documentary about their family life.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle have been widely praised for their attitude towards Zaya coming out, beginning with how they handled things at the start of the year.
Union was set to be the cover star of Self magazine this month, but because of the coronavirus pandemic a traditional photoshoot was out of the question.
So, the magazine asked 13-year-old budding photographer Zaya to do the honours, and she was thrilled to accept.
Union said that the best part of the shoot was seeing herself through her stepdaughter’s eyes.
She told Self: “It’s always interesting to me, the pictures magazines choose, and rarely do I like the pictures.
“Like it’s very, very rare. I’m always like, There is no way this picture is good. Like, What are you seeing? And it’s so interesting to see different people’s perspectives of you.”
But, she said with her stepdaughter behind the camera, the experience was different.
Union continued: “I’m just interested to see myself through Zaya’s eyes.
“I think that’s really actually…really interesting. Because I trust her. And she has a story to tell.”
She said that Zaya is a “tremendous artist” and that her photography skills blow her away.
“I love her as an artist,” she said. “I mean, obviously I love her period, but where her mind is going and where her creativity is going is just dope to see.
“I’m just really interested to see what she comes up with.”
After the issue of the magazine came out, Zaya told Self in an email: “The only emotion to describe the way I felt during the photo shoot is pure bliss.
“I finally felt like I was doing something that I loved. It was a great experience.”
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We asked Gabrielle Union (@gabunion) if her stepdaughter Zaya Wade (@zayawade), a 13-year-old budding photographer, would be interested in shooting the photos for Union’s cover profile. Zaya gave an enthusiastic yes, and we were able to see Union in a way we’d not seen her before—through the eyes of her stepdaughter. Tap the link in our bio to read the cover story and see the rest of photos that go along with it. Photography by @zayawade Virtual wardrobe styling by @shibonleigh Virtual makeup consultation by @mjfaces Virtual hair consultation by @larryjarahsims