Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union Asked the 'Pose' Cast About Using the Right Pronouns for Their Daughter Zaya

"I knew early on that I had to check myself—that I had to ask myself questions."

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
(Image credit: @dwyanewade)
  • Dwyane Wade (opens in new tab) appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Tuesday, and talked about reaching out to the cast of Pose (opens in new tab).
  • Wade said he and his wife Gabrielle Union (opens in new tab) wanted to make sure they were using the right pronouns for their daughter, Zaya.
  • "We reached out to make sure that we had all the information that we needed because we are learning in this process as well," Wade said.

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union (opens in new tab) are offering the world a parenting masterclass, as they talk about being the best possible allies to their daughter, Zaya, who's trans. Wade appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Tuesday, and a caller asked him what he learned after reaching out to the cast of Pose. "We didn’t have a lot of information and we reached out about pronouns. We wanted to make sure we didn’t get it wrong," Wade replied. "So we reached out about the pronouns and making sure that we said the right things to our daughter."

"She’s identified as a young lady and we wanted to make sure we got all the pronouns right," he continued. "We wanted to make sure that we got all of the language right. So we reached out to make sure that we had all the information that we needed because we are learning in this process as well."

On Twitter, Pose star Angelica Ross said (opens in new tab) she was "so touched" when Wade and Union reached out, adding that they were "so committed to getting it right as parents."

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Wade also appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday, telling (opens in new tab) Robin Roberts that Zaya led the family's conversations on her gender identity. "Zaya started doing more research. She was the one that sat down with us as a family and said, 'Hey, I don't think I'm gay.' And she went down the list and said, 'This is how I identify myself—I identify myself as a young lady. I think I'm a straight trans [girl], because I like boys,'" he said.

"It was a process for us to sit down with our daughter and find out who she is and what she likes and not put something on her. We decided to listen to her and she's leading us on this journey," Wade continued. "This is no game to us. We're about protecting her heart and about protecting her joy and we have to support them."

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Wade spoke, too, about the importance of confronting himself, after saying "the wrong words and the wrong phrases" in the past. "I knew early on that I had to check myself—that I had to ask myself questions," he told Roberts. "My daughter was my first interaction when it comes to having to deal with this conversation. Hopefully I'm dealing with it the right way. Some people think I'm not, but inside our home we see the smile on our daughter's face, we see the confidence that she's able to walk around and be herself, and that's when you know you're doing right."

As Zaya put it herself, in a video (opens in new tab) Union shared on Instagram, "Be true to yourself, because what's the point of being on this earth if you're going to try to be someone you're not? You're not even living as yourself, which is the dumbest concept to me."

"I know it can get tough," she continued. "But I think you push through, and you be the best you."

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) (opens in new tab)

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Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.