Zaya Wade is speaking her truth.
She recently did a joint interview with her stepmother Gabrielle Union for the Dove Self-Esteem Project. During the conversation, Zaya, 14, opened up about how she has been impacted by “detrimental beauty advice online.” For example, Zaya said she dealt with hateful comments about her hair. She said,
“As a trans person, once I came out, there was a lot of hateful comments about how I should grow my hair out long or fit into a certain version of femininity, even though that’s not true at all. That kind of advice is just trying to break you, but don’t let it.”
“You can be a ‘stunner’ or ‘classically beautiful person,’ but if your soul is rotten, you are not very beautiful at all.” The actress continued, “We try to stress character, compassion, love, acceptance, and joy. That hopefully radiates from the inside out. When it comes to how she moves through the world, we try to stress there is no one way to be a woman or to be feminine.” In addition, “We talk to her about resisting anti-Blackness and not centering Eurocentric beauty ideals.”
In 2020, Dwyane appeared on The Ellen Show and revealed his daughter’s truth. Zaya was born a male, Zion, but at 12-years-old, came out as transgender. During the show, the former NBA star said he showers his child with love and will refer to her as Zaya as she asked.
Take a look at some of Zaya’s epic photoshoots from this year: