Gabrielle Union on Being a Supportive Parent to Trans Daughter Zaya: "We Love All Our Kids Out Loud"

The star is such an example.

US actress Gabrielle Union (R) 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: Getty/CHRIS DELMAS)

Gabrielle Union has long established herself as a force for good—be it by calling out racist behavior, championing diversity or preaching the importance of being ourselves.

When it comes to raising her kids, stepchildren Zaire and Zaya, and daughter Kaavia James, whom she shares with husband Dwyane Wade, Union's philosophy is no different.

So since Zaya came out as trans at age 12 (she's now 14), Union and Wade have been the most supportive, loving parents you could dream up.

When the actress was asked during an interview with BuzzFeed what her advice is to parents who struggle with accepting their LGBTQ+ kids, she found just the right words to express it.

"As our children show up, it is our job to believe them when they tell us who they are and not impose our dreams, hopes, fears, and desires on them," she said. "It's our job to be loving, compassionate, protective guides for our children, but their lives are their lives and we have to respect that." She added, "We do not believe in any kind of shaming for existing. That is bizarre, cruel, and harmful."

The Cheaper by the Dozen actress also explained why she and Wade strive to be an example of supportive parenting.

"It's important for us to live and love out loud," she said. "We didn't exactly understand why [supporting Zaya's trans identity] was a thing, because it's like, we love all our kids out loud.

"But it is a thing and a lot of people do need an example. They do need that representation. So yeah, we're gonna post our family, we're going to live out loud, we're going to love out loud, and we're going to speak out loud and lead in however each situation calls for us to be leaders when things are not where they should be."

Iris Goldsztajn
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.