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.
A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion)
A photo posted by on
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 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 InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. 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.
The Perfumer Behind Last Year's Most Talked-About Fragrance Just Released Another Perfect Scent
Aqua Media Cologne forte embodies a feeling of balance and harmony.
By Deena Campbell
'Yellowface' Is Our June Book Club Pick
Read an excerpt from R.F. Kuang's latest novel, here, then dive in with us throughout the month.
By Brooke Knappenberger
I Scoured the Summer Runways—Here Are the Six Shoe Trends Actually Worth Buying
Hit the ground running this season.
By Emma Childs
Tracee Ellis Ross Opened Up About Being Child-Free: "I Must Be Where I'm Supposed to Be"
By Iris Goldsztajn
Princess Charlotte and Princes George and Louis Love Airplanes
Duchess Kate talked about her children’s fascination while visiting a RAF base.
By Marie Claire Editors
Celebrities Who Opened Up About Their Infertility Struggles
"I'm a good person, and I could give someone the greatest life of all, but yet I can't get pregnant."
By Bianca Rodriguez
Naomi Campbell Is a First-Time Mom: "There Is No Greater Love"
The fashion icon shared on Instagram that she has welcomed a baby.
By Neha Prakash
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Talked Raising Their Children to Be Their "Authentic Selves"
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, number one loveliest celebrity parents, opened up about their approach to parenting in their cover interview with People.
By Emily Dixon
A-Rod Said His Blended Family With J.Lo Is The "Most Important Thing" In His Life
Alex Rodriguez opened up about his blended family with Jennifer Lopez, calling children Natasha, Elle, Emme, and Max "the most important thing in [his] life."
By Emily Dixon
Chrissy Teigen Spoke Out in Support of Parents Who Struggle to Breastfeed: "Normalize Formula"
Chrissy Teigen spoke about the "shame" and "guilt" she felt while struggling to breastfeed, and called for the normalization of baby formula.
By Emily Dixon
Ryan Reynolds Said He "Loves Every Second" of Being a "Girl Dad" to Three Daughters
Ryan Reynolds spoke about being a "girl dad" to daughters James, Inez, and Betty, who he shares with wife Blake Lively, in an adorable interview.
By Emily Dixon