Gabrielle Union Says Their Family Had ‘A Lot Of Therapy’ To Help w/ Trans Daughter Zaya’s Transition: We All Made Mistakes
Gabrielle Union has never been one to hold back, and a recent conversation about her family life was no different. The actress recently discussed being part of a blended family, her dad thoughts about baby Kaavia and their surrogate, and raising her and Dwyane Wade’s 12-year-old transgender daughter Zaya Wade.
Gabrielle Union spoke about her husband’s unconventional views of raising their blended family and having a child who’s a product of a surrogate.
“Anything non-traditional its not really out there in that kind of way. Foster families, blended families, adoption, surrogacy. And I just wanted to write a love letter at the end of this long, heartbreaking journey that I was on and a lot of families are on to expand our family or to create your family. I just wanted to celebrate all those families that are out here with their arms stretched wide open, welcome, we love you, we see you, we celebrate you.”
Later on, Gabrielle discussed the misconceptions around having a surrogate, with one example being her own father,
“I think its important because people have no real understanding. My dad, til this day, is still confused about why Kaavia doesn’t look like our surrogate and why she looks like me and Dwayne and I’m like because she’s our biological…”
She also spoke on misunderstandings of having a child transition, like their daughter Zaya, who was born Zion, has recently.
“And with transitioning people think they know all of it and know all of the steps and feel comfortable chiming in with all of their ignorance and its like pump the breaks. You went to the end of the sentence we’re still trying to write the first word.”
She continued and said their family relied on therapy to help them navigate through Zaya’s changes.
“It’s a slow process where there’s a lot of checks and balances and the first is listening to your child. Talking to your child, meeting them where they are and for us it was getting a lot more therapy, get more educated as a family and giving Zaya safe spaces to be very articulate about her feelings about her identity and going from there step by step. We’re gonna make mistakes, we all did make mistakes, because this is relatively recent for us at the beginning of this school year. She’s been out as a queer child for years but the transition has been since the start of 7th grade. Just getting the pronouns, her preferred pronouns, or even knowing to ask other people ‘what are your preferred pronouns?’ and talking to people the way they prefer you speak to them. It is the most idiot-proof-basic least you can do…to speak to people the way they want to be spoken to, call them by the names they want, understanding what a dead name is versus their chosen name.”
Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle revealed earlier this year that Zaya (born Zion) identified as female and is romantically attracted to boys. Dwayne Wade also says that Zaya has known about her gender identity since she was three-years-old.
“Zaya still has preteen things. You know she flipped up and cussed the other day, so I’m gonna guess that perhaps you been cussing with your friends. We love her as she is and we’re educating ourselves along the way and we’re gonna mess up. The other day there was a misgendering and Zaya has been gracious enough to be like you guys have until the end of the school year to get the pronouns together and the slip-ups are nipped in the bud because I understand this is a journey and a process but get it together. Let me tell you how it feels to be misgendered. And all you have to do is respect that and make the adjustments and change.”
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