Zaya Wade lived her truth at the 2020 Truth Awards on Saturday, March 7, making her red carpet debut after coming out as transgender. And the 12-year-old even matched her stunning suit to those of her dad, NBA legend Dwyane Wade, and stepmother, actress Gabrielle Union.
“Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself — her name is Zaya Wade!” Dwyane wrote on Instagram following the event. “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, Dwyane, and Union wore complementary custom Richfresh suits and jewels from Lorraine Schwartz. Plus, after a Twitter user observed that the colors of the suits reflected the genderqueer flag, Dwyane tweeted that the idea was “all Zaya.”
All Zaya! WoW! Not bad for a 12 year old huh ? https://t.co/GxTEIbUqpE
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 9, 2020
“It was an EPIC night filled with so much love & a real sense of community,” Union wrote on Instagram. “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 … We keep moving forward. We keep leading with love, light, and hope for a better more inclusive world.”
Dwyane discussed his daughter’s coming out last month during his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “[She] said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” the former Miami Heat player said.
And Union reintroduced the tween on Instagram that same day. “Meet Zaya,” the L.A.’s Finest star wrote. “She’s compassionate, loving, whip-smart and we are so proud of her,” she wrote. “It’s OK to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people.”
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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
The Truth Awards are organized by Better Brothers Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization that “educates, inspires and connects the Black LGBTQ community in Southern California.” The annual event “represents an unprecedented opportunity to highlight the contributions of the Black LGBTQ community and our allies,” the organization says on its website. “The award embodies our belief that members of the Black LGBTQ community who embrace and live their truths should be recognized and honored. Along with our allies, they represent the very best in our community and serve as examples to us all. The goal of the Truth Awards is to increase the awareness of the Black LGBTQ community, and highlight their contributions in life, career, and mainstream culture. This annual event will also have presentations of college scholarships to promising Black LGBTQ youth.”