A week after she made headlines for supporting her 11-year-old stepdaughter at the Miami Pride Parade, Gabrielle Union has spoken out about why she and her family showed Zaya all that love.
“It feels normal,” the Being Mary Jane actress told Us Weekly at the Black Design Collective Honors Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter event on Saturday.
“My mom took me to my first pride at eight years old. We moved to San Francisco, and it’s kind of part of being a global citizen.”
The 46-year-old added, “People talk a lot about diversity and inclusion, but they don’t actually mean it. In our household, we mean that, and that’s why the entire household went to pride.”
As we previously reported, Zaya and her stepmom were on a float during the April 7 LGBTQ pride festival. They were also joined by other family members such as his 17-year-old big brother, Zaire and baby sister Kaavia.
Zaire Wade shared his public support on Instagram for his younger brother, writing: “Love you lil bro no matter what.”
Dwyane Wade, who was playing in Toronto at the time, couldn’t attend the parade, but posted on his Instagram stories a series of pics, writing “We support each other with Pride,” over a photo of his daughter and his wife.
“[ Zaya] had his [own] cheering section today,” the NBA player captioned a photo of Zaya and his family members.
“Wish I was there to see you smile kid! … It’s a family thing.”
While some may question the couple’s support for Zaya sexual orientation/gender identity, others celebrated them for showing up and loving their son for who he is, which is especially important for Black LGBTQ kids.
See, a 2016 report released by the Center for American Progress found that Black LGBTQ folks experience higher rates of homelessness during youth than their peers; have higher rates of unemployment or underemployment; and face overall lower rates of pay and higher rates of poverty.
Another report conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that nearly half of Black/African-American LGBTQ students felt unsafe due to their sexual orientation; over a third felt unsafe because of their gender expression and nearly 40 percent of Black/ African-American students were more likely to experience in-school discipline.
So, it’s clear that if this is the disproportionate bias our children face in the outside world, they need to be loved and accepted as much as possible when they are home with us.
Bravo to Gabrielle and Dwyane for leading the way! If only more Black parents could follow in their footsteps.
***Editor’s Note: Due to Zaya’s recent coming out as trans, all past stories that were written about her have been updated to reflect her correct gender identity and pronouns.
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