Gabrielle Union has thanked fans for their “love and encouragement” after her step-daughter came out as transgender.
The 47-year-old actress took to social media on Tuesday to share her gratitude to those who have offered “support” and “resources” following the news that her 12-year-old stepdaughter - who was born a boy named Zion - has come out as transgender, and now goes by the name Zaya.
Gabrielle - who is married to Zaya’s father Dwayne Wade - introduced her step-daughter on social media, as she said she is “so proud” of her for coming out.
The former ‘America’s Got Talent’ judge wrote: “Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It’s Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people. (sic)”
And in a second post, Gabrielle said: “Huge huge huge THANK YOU to everyone whose dms I slid into, friends, & family who provided information, resources, love & encouragement. We are humble LGBTQ+ allies with ALOT to learn & grateful for all the support. We encourage yall to check us as needed Again, thank you! (sic)”
Meanwhile, Dwayne - who has Zaya, and Zaire, 18, with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, as well as six-year-old Xavier with Aja Metoyer, and 15-month-old Kaavia with Gabrielle - announced Zaya’s name change on ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’ on Tuesday morning, when he explained he couldn’t be more proud of his daughter.
He said: “First of all, me and my wife Gabrielle, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud allies as well.
“Once Zaya, our 12-year-old, came home … first, Zion. 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, 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’.
“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 that, 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.”