Gabrielle Union wants her stepdaughter Zaya to feel “peace”.
The 48-year-old actress has been hugely supportive of 13-year-old Zaya since she publicly came out as transgender earlier this year, and now, the ‘Being Mary Jane’ star has insisted Zaya’s “peace is non-negotiable”, as she vowed to keep fighting for the teenager to live without prejudice.
She said: “Zaya's peace is non-negotiable. As Zaya gathered more language, she was able to tell us about her identity. She was able to tell us about her sexuality.”
Gabrielle also admitted Zaya - whose father is Gabrielle’s husband, Dwyane Wade - has felt the need to come out “a few times”, and even told her stepmother she felt “outed” when she shared a picture of herself and Zaya posing with a birthday cake in June of this year.
The actress added: “She was able to tell us, 'I'm trans.' She says, 'I've come out a few times. I came out to my teacher in third grade. And then, when you guys posted that picture of me in Chicago at my birthday party.’ ”
The image in question caused “certain blogs” to pick apart the photo and question Zaya’s gender identity, which made the teenager feel scrutinised and uncomfortable.
And whilst Gabrielle and Dwyane - who have two-year-old daughter Kaavia together, as well as Dwyane’s other children from his previous marriage, 18-year-old Zaire and seven-year-old Xavier - are supportive of Zaya, they both still have a lot to learn.
Gabrielle told Taraji P. Henson and Tracie Jade Jenkins on their new Facebook Watch show, ‘Peace of Mind with Taraji’: "She asked for a demisexual flag for her birthday, and Dwyane's like to me, 'Do you know what that is?’
"We only know what we know. You have to be open to embrace what we don't know."
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