Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Opened Up About Leaving Florida So Their Transgender Daughter Could Be Safer

Zaya has been thriving in California.

US actress Gabrielle Union and her daughter Zaya Wade arrive for the "Cheaper by the Dozen" Disney premiere at the El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California, March 16, 2022.
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Delmas / Getty)

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade put their children first, which is why soon after their daughter Zaya came out as transgender, they decided to swap Florida for California—where the trans community is better protected by law.

Asked whether this was an easy decision for their family during a recent joint interview with Parents, Wade said, "There are a lot of reasons we decided California was best for our family and finding a community for Zaya was a big part of that.

"We felt that California was a place that would allow her to blossom and grow. She’s going to be a junior in high school now and she’s been able to be accepted and become her here."

Zaya, 16, is Wade's daughter from his previous relationship with Siohvaughn Funches, with whom the former NBA pro also shares son Zaire, 21. Wade and Union, who married in 2014, share daughter Kaavia James, who was born in 2018.

It was then Union's turn to weigh in on Parents' question.

"When you have the kind of rhetoric that is being espoused in Florida and adopted into law, that's not an option if my child isn't safe there," she said.

"We have family and friends who don't have the privilege of moving. So we are going to be fighting till we are out of breath to protect all kids who are oppressed. That is our responsibility as people with large platforms and as people who folks trust, and they trust us because we say the hard thing. "

Wade first opened up about Zaya's gender identity on The Ellen Show in 2020.

"We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we're proud allies as well," he said. "We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously, so when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it's our job as parents to listen, to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can. And that doesn't change because sexuality is now involved in it."

Union and Wade are in great company with other famous parents who have unconditionally accepted their trans or nonbinary children, including Jamie Lee Curtis and Jennifer Lopez.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.