Dwyane Wade's Trans Daughter Zaya Hits the Red Carpet at LGBTQ Awards Event

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday March 9, 2020

Zaya Wade - the daughter of retired NBA star Dwyane Wade and actor Gabrielle Union - hit the red carpet this weekend, in the company of her proud parents.

The family went to this year's edition of the Truth Awards, reported USA Today. The Truth Awards honor LGBTQ leaders in the African American community, media sources noted.

CBS News reported that "The awards also provide funding for scholarships which promote educational opportunities for young people in the LGBTQ+ community."

The March 7 ceremony was the sixth annual edition of the Truth Awards. Among those honored were Zaya's godfathers, Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis, upon whom were bestowed this year's Business Leadership Award.

Taking to Instagram to share a photo of Zaya, Wade wrote, "Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself her name is Zaya Wade!"

Added Zaya's proud papa: "Last night was Zaya's first red carpet and we couldn't have been prouder of how she handled the questions that were asked of her. She has emerged as one of the young faces and voices for the LGBTQ+ community."

Zaya's emergence has been rapid: Just last month, as EDGE reported at the time, Wade appeared on "Ellen" to tell openly lesbian host Ellen DeGeneres about his child's coming out as trans and describe her leadership qualities. Wade also let the world know that he and Union are their daughter's unshakeable allies.

Ellen thanked Wade for being on the show and told him, "I think it's what every parent should be, is what you're being right now, which is unconditionally loving your child and supporting your child in whoever they are."

"First of all..." Wade told Ellen, "we are proud... we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community. And we're proud allies, as well. We take our role and our responsibilities as parents very seriously."

Wade explained that meant, in part, being willing to offer their child "the best information that we can" when she faces any issue or has any questions.

In order to obtain that information, Wade and Union reached out to the cast and crew of the FX drama "Pose," which is about the New York City ballroom dance scene in the 1980s. The scene was a safe and creative space for trans and drag artists, and the drama has the largest cast of trans actors in television history - and a production crew, writers' room, and roster of directors to go with it.

Appearing on "What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," Wade told a caller that, "First of all, we got information. We didn't have a lot of information, and we reached out about pronouns."

Wade went on to say, "We wanted to make sure we didn't get it wrong. so we reached out about the pronouns and making sure we said the right things to our daughter."

CNN reported on Zaya's ensemble, a Richfresh original in green and black, with a splash of pink. Her parents wore complementary clothing complete with green and pink accents.

Wade shared s photo of the family at Instagram, asking, "Zaya how does that custom @richfresh feel???"

Added Wade: "Last night was a dope experience for our family."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.