Gabrielle Union is keen on making sure her stepdaughter Zaya feels 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?’
“We only know what we know. You have to be open to embrace what we don’t know.”