See the Loving Way Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Celebrated Their Daughter Zaya's 13th Birthday

Since Zaya came out as transgender, her parents have been educating themselves and others on how to be supportive. 

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(Image credit: Andrew Toth)

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade's daughter Zaya celebrated her 13th birthday on May 29, and on Friday, her parents gave her the birthday party of any young teen's dreams. The theme? "Modern medieval [sic] kingdom #13"

Zaya introduced her party theme with this Instagram post, in which she is pictured wearing purple braids, yellow-and-black tights, and a green-and-black corset top:

In another post of her and her friends' outfits, she wrote, "𝕊𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕟𝕘𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕠𝕘𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣✊🏾 #happypride🌈"

Zaya's parents shared heartfelt messages for her birthday. "Best day!! So glad we were able to create a special day for her 13th birthday," Union wrote on the day of the party. "She was surrounded by love and had the best time!"

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On Zaya's actual birthday, Wade wrote the following for his daughter: "I wanna take this moment to acknowledge you Zaya on your 13th birthday‼️ I've woken up every day this week with low energy and not a lot of faith in people. But waking up and watching you smile, watching you walk in your truth and live your life your way is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been able to experience in my life. In a world where the color of your skin is deemed a threat you continue to be the bravest person I know and I’m gonna stand by your side until there isn't any more standing left to do. I love you more than words can articulate. I hope you feel all of my love today and everyday of your life. You're Bold, You're courageous, You are Zaya. Happy Birthday we LOVE you‼️"

Union wrote: "Happy Birthday baby!!! I can't believe you are 13!! @zayawade you are such an inspiration and motivation to get my butt up everyday and fight. When I'm weary, frustrated, full of rage, I see your face and your joy and you living your best life and I want that for all of us. I love you sooooo much kid!! Enjoy this day and everyday knowing you are loved, protected, respected, admired and celebrated. ♥️♥️♥️♥️"

In February of this year, Wade revealed on The Ellen Show that Zaya identifies as a girl and uses she/her pronouns.

"Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home—I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion; Zion, born as a boy—came home and said, 'Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, and I'm ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I'd love for you guys to call me Zaya,'" Wade recalled.

Next, he said, he and Union worked to learn as much information as they could about the transgender community and what their daughter might be experiencing.

"That was our job, to go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose (opens in new tab)," Wade. "We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to make sure we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self."

In March, Zaya made her first red-carpet appearance at the Truth Awards in Los Angeles (opens in new tab) in March. "Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself her name is Zaya Wade!," Wade wrote then. "Last night was Zaya’s first red carpet and we couldn’t have been prouder of how she handled the questions that were asked of her. She has emerged as one of the young faces and voices for the LGBTQ+ community."

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Hilary Weaver is a freelance writer based in New York who writes about politics, queer issues, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and every woman the Queen has ever made a dame. I saw Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again three times in theaters, and that's pretty much all you need to know.