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    Zaya Wade Reflects on Her Giant Support System

    At the 2023 NAACP Image Awards, Zaya Wade’s father Dwyane Wade gave a heartfelt speech to honor his daughter as an “inspirational role model,” sharing how she has handled her transgender journey with compassion and sensitivity. The retired NBA player also shared how his daughter’s openness to negative feedback has allowed her to grow into a confident and self-aware young woman.

    Dwyane & Gabrielle Union Support Their Stepdaughter, Zaya Wade (pictured with her dad and stepmother)

    When it comes to unconditional support for their daughter Zaya, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are always there. The couple have long rallied behind their 15-year-old daughter, who came out as transgender in 2020.

    Last month in February, a Los Angeles County judge approved Wade’s petition to legally change her name and gender identity. The teen is now officially Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade, and she can now reflect her true identity on her official documents.

    She Also Made Her Debut as a Runway Model at Paris Fashion Week

    Dwyane and Gabrielle have been supportive of their daughter’s journey since she came out, and she was even seen on the front row of her runway debut at Paris Fashion Week this past March. She strutted her stuff in an olive-green knit top and skirt with an oversized jacket. Her style-savvy stylist Thomas Christos Kikis thanked her for showing him what it means to ’believe in yourself’ on Instagram.

    But while her parents have been vocal supporters, they weren’t without a few hiccups along the way. In November of last year, Zaya’s mother Siohvaughn Funches-Wade filed an objection in court to a court petition that would have allowed her to change her name and gender. According to court papers, Funches-Wade argued that Wade was using her daughter’s transition to finically exploit her story, with potential brand deals and partnerships.

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