The True Act of Acceptance

    Last week, Dwyane Wade made headlines addressing the identity of his 12-year-old transgender daughter, Zaya, on an interview with Ellen. Several were shocked to witness the uncanny support the professional athlete had towards his daughter. Zion, who is now referred to as Zaya, was born a male but knew since the age of three that she wanted to be identified as female. Both Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union have sat down with their daughter to discuss their endless support and gratification for her opening up about her sexuality and personal identity. Coming from a background of being African American and an athlete, the star revealed that him and his wife had to seek information regarding the transition of becoming transgender because they were not informed. Gabrielle Union even asked the cast of Pose for some guidance on her daughter. Since the cast has the largest selection of actors that are transgender, she had asked for their input on the meaning of being transgender. 

    Both parents have been supportive of the changes their daughter has made, but there have been celebrities that have given them backlash on their support. For instance, several declared that Zaya is too young to announce that she is transgender. How can a twelve-year-old, let alone at the age of three, proclaim that she classifies herself as a girl? This brings in questions regarding if there is an age limit on knowing your own personal identity. Needless to say, there have been stars such as Cardi B who have defended Zaya and her position of opening up about herself. On Instagram, the famous rapper announced that there is no exact age to know what you are. Although several argue the child is too young, they forget to realize that she is an adolescent who has placed herself in a vulnerable and sensitive position. It is not easy to open up about controversial topics about sexuality and labels, but Dwyane has managed to be an amazing, supportive, father. 

    The most important aspect to take away from the issue is the fact that Dwyane Wade addressed the importance of revealing the identity of his daughter. Dwyane wanted her to become a role model to those who are African American and were considering their journey of becoming transgender. Dwyane clarified that he would continue to show his support to his daughter, regardless of the public’s point of view. This has shaped the outlook for those who are afraid to come out and not be their true selves. Zaya once said, “What’s the point of living on this Earth if you’re going to try to be someone you’re not? This is wholeheartedly true. What is the point of living if you will never be your true self or admire the qualities that make you, you? Several of us are afraid to show our true identity because of the lack of support we will get from people. However, nobody’s opinion is as important as the one we have of ourselves. This can be clearly seen in the case of Zaya, but we must remember; in order to be in love with the world, we must first be in love with who we are and learn to accept ourselves for who we are.