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Dwyane Wade’s Daughter Zaya Embodies Medieval Pride As She Turns 13



Dwyane Wade turned the clock back a few centuries to usher his daughter Zaya into her teenage years. 

Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union, shared snapshots of the family celebrating Zaya’s 13th birthday over the weekend at what’s been described as a “modern medieval kingdom” party. 

Zaya rocked lavender braids and a floor-length green gown paired with black-and-yellow printed trousers, while Union wore an empire dress and a flower crown. Wade put a 21st century spin on an Old World look, too, by sporting a fiery red hairdo and a black kilt. 

“She was surrounded by love and had the best time,” Union, who is Zaya’s stepmother, wrote on Twitter. 

As for the birthday girl, she used the occasion to acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month, too, captioning one of her images, “Stronger together #happypride.”  

The celebration came months after Wade first spoke publicly about Zaya’s gender identity in an ESPN documentary, “D. Wade: Life Unexpected,” as well as a series of emotional interviews

Describing himself and Union as “proud allies,” the retired NBA star said he was determined to provide his daughter with “the best opportunity to be her best self.” 

“Zaya, early on, knew two things,” Wade told “Good Morning America” in February. “She knew ‘straight’ and she knew ‘gay.’ But Zaya started doing more research. … She went down the list and said, ‘This is how I identify myself. This is my gender identity.’” 

“As parents, we put our hopes and our fears on our kids,” he said. “With Zaya, we decided to listen to her. She’s leading us along this journey.” 

Zaya made her red carpet debut in March. She appeared alongside Union and Wade at the Better Brothers Los Angeles’ sixth annual Truth Awards, which was “created to recognize and highlight the accomplishments of the Black LGBTQ+ community and its allies.”

“We couldn’t have been prouder of how she handled the questions that were asked of her,” Wade wrote on Instagram at the time. “She has emerged as one of the young faces and voices for the LGBTQ+ community.”





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