It was a big night for the Wade family. On March 7, retired NBA star Dwyane Wade, actress wife Gabrielle Union and his daughter Zaya, 12, attended the 2020 Truth Awards in Los Angeles. The event marked Zaya's first red carpet since she publicly came out as a transgender girl.
The family posed for photos wearing coordinated custom black, white, green and hot pink looks by designer Rich Fresh and accessorized with jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz. Dwyane and Gabrielle both took to social media to share images from the evening as well as loving messages. "Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself her name is Zaya Wade! 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. #truthawards," Dwyane captioned a photo of Zaya, the second eldest of his four kids, on Instagram. (Zaya's mother is Dwyane's first wife, Siohvaughn Funches.)
Gabrielle posted several photo slideshows plus a fun video clip of the family walking next to a pool in slow motion. "We keep moving forward. We keep leading with love, light, and hope for a better more inclusive world. Stay put and stay mad if you want. We keep it pushing. Always. ❤❤❤," she captioned the video.
E! News reported that during the Better Brothers Los Angeles Truth Awards — which celebrate the accomplishments of the black LGBTQ+ community and its allies — the Wades took the stage to honor a friend and there, Dwyane spoke about his LGBTQ+ child who the world previously knew as Zion. "When our 8-year-old daughter, Zaya Wade, came home and said she had something to tell us, when she came out to us, as a family, we admitted that we weren't as educated about the LGBTQ+ plus community as we should have been," Dwyane said on stage.
The former basketball star went onto explain that he and Zaya's famous stepmom initially reached out to friends in the community, a male couple, for advice. "[They] helped us navigate the right language to use, the questions to ask and what to listen for," Dwyane said. "They also reminded us to make sure Zaya knew her community and felt the love and support inside and outside from home."
Dwyane further shared that as a start, one thing he and Gabrielle did was work with Zaya to design her bedrooms in their homes "to make sure that her most authentic self was represented and that her bedroom felt like her sanctuary," he said. "Now, that may seem small, but taking the time to make sure Zaya felt seen and heard as she created her own space for us was key. It was key to Zaya's comfort and her confidence."
On Instagram, Dwyane captioned a photo of himself and Gabrielle flanking an excited-looking Zaya, "Zaya how does that custom @richfresh feel??? Last night was a dope experience for our family. Thank you to @betterbrothersla and the #truthawards for recognizing our good friends @jasonbolden @adair_curtis with the Business Leadership Award. The Truth Awards was created to recognize and highlight the accomplishments of the Black LGBTQ+ community and its allies. In doing so, they increase the awareness of their contributions to Society, Popular Culture and the Arts, and help refocus the lens through which they are seen. The Truth Awards also provides funding for scholarships that supports educational opportunities for youth in the LGBTQ+ community! ✊🏾🖤."
Gabrielle further posted on a slideshow, in part, "It was an EPIC night filled with so much love & a real sense of community. It was important for Zaya to be a part of such a beautiful night & reminding her of all the love & support she has. We were moved to tears so many times throughout the night. So much gratitude ❤💜🖤."
Many of the couple's well-known celebrity followers including Mark Wahlberg, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janet Mock, Chris Bosh, Holly Robinson Peete, Rowan Blanchard, Todrick Hall, EJ Johnson, Tank, Keith Powers and more took to the comments in the Wades' Instagram posts to share support.