Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union honored with prestigious President’s Award for supporting LGBTQ+ community at NAACP awards after NBA star had transgender daughter’s name and sex legally changed despite ex-wife’s opposition
Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union accepted the prestigious President’s Award for supporting LGBTQ+ community at the 2023 NAACP awards on Saturday.
It comes just a day after the 40-year-old former professional basketball player’s daughter, 15 – who came out as trans back in 2019 at the age of 12 – was granted a legal name and gender change, despite her mother’s opposition.
The NBA star took the moment to address his daughter – now legally named Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade – praising her for handling the ‘ignorance in our world.’
‘Zaya, as your father, all I’ve wanted to do is get it right. I have sat back and watched how graceful you have taken on the public scrutiny and even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of the house every morning as yourself.’
‘I admire how you have handled the ignorance in our world. I admire that you face it every day. To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement,’ the proud father went on.
Prestigious award: Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union accepted the prestigious President’s Award for supporting LGBTQ+ community at the 2023 NAACP awards on Saturday
The latest: It comes just a day after his transgender daughter Zaya, 15, was granted a legal name and gender change, following a legal battle with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade; Dwyane and Zaya pictured 2022
‘Thank you for showing me that there is more than just one way to communicate effectively. You taught me that communication with my mouth isn’t enough,’ he went on.
‘I have to also communicate with my two ears and my two eyes. As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself or direct your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes, your dreams.’
‘Zaya, you have made me a better human just simply by being who you were born to be. Our baby girl, Zaya Wade. Thank you for showing the world what courage looks like. I am proud that I was chosen to stand in place as your father. Thank you so much to the NAACP for this incredible honor,’ he added.
Dwyane also spoke about him and Gabrielle using their platform: ‘We stand up here today as two people who have worked tirelessly to have resources and access. As two people willing to use our microphones for what we believe and what other families are going through.’
‘I’m intentional when I use my platform. I recognize what I’ve been given and it is my job to uplift the voices of others and share my access and resources.’
The actress also took a moment to speak about the couple’s activism.
‘It’s humbling to stand here, surrounded by friends and heroes, OG’s and icons all working to advance the lives of black people and pay respect to an organization that has led us through over a century of relentless challenge, pain, triumph, and change.’
‘And now stands with us again at the foot of a new era of activism. A new era that demands our collective answer to one simple question: Will we fight for some or will we fight for all of our people?’
Praise: The NBA star took the moment to address his daughter – now legally named Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade – praising her for handling the ‘ignorance in our world’