Dwayne Wade Supports Transgender Daughter Zaya's Identity
Dwayne Wade wowed fans when he publicly expressed support for his transgender daughter during a guest appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show.
The former NBA star appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show on February 11 and shared his daughter's coming out story.
Zaya, who was born as a boy named Zion, came home one day and opened up about her sexuality to her parents Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union.
"Zion came home and said, 'Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I am ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as 'she' and 'her.' I would love for you guys to call me Zaya," Dwayne shared.
Dwayne expressed his support, saying "it's a parent's job to get information" to help children become their best selves.
He also shared his wife Gabrielle Union's effort in calling the cast of the hit LGBTQ television series Pose to figure out how to give their daughter the best opportunity to be her best self.
Union also posted a video on social media where Wade and Zaya were seen discussing the importance of staying true. Union also introduced Zaya to the world as a compassionate, loving, and smart kid.
Zaya's statement, "What's the point of being on this earth if you're going to try to be someone you're not?" drew many praises from LGBTQ allies, celebrities, and fans alike.
A Step Towards Acceptance
Wade and Union took a big step in raising awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ people.
A stigma surrounding gender identity is still present in society, especially among older generations and the black community.
According to the 2019 report of the Human Rights Campaign, 77% of LGBTQ youth belonging in the black and African American community have heard family members say negative things about LGBTQ people.
An estimated 47 percent of black LGBTQ youths have experienced getting mocked and taunted by friends and family members.
Only a staggeringly low 19 percent can say they are free to live their truths at home.
Black and African American LGBTQ members rarely have families who get involved in the LGBTQ community. According to the study, only 26 percent attend pride events, advocate for inclusion in their workplaces, and learn about the experiences of the LGBTQ people
Almost 59 percent of youths say their families make them feel bad because of their identity.
Rejection and mockery can give LGBTQ members, especially the youth, many stressors. These include lower self-esteem, depression, harassment, bullying, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, and isolation.
Many Black and African American LGBTQ youth also face problems when trying to reach counseling services and mental health support.
Sexual violence is also prominent in LGBTQ youth who lack resources and support. According to statistics, 27 percent of transgender and gender-expansive youth, as well as 14 percent of cisgender LGBQ youth have experienced sexual harassment and violence by being forced to do unwanted sexual acts.
Some have experienced getting unwanted jokes and gestures, while others experience rape.
The study calls for better support for the gender-expansive youth. It urges for the removal of anti-transgender and anti-black biases as well as more representation in the mainstream.
They also urge everyone to highlight the experiences of black and African American LGBTQ people and advocate for inclusion in education and workplaces.
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