Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade Thanked ‘Courageous’ Daughter Zaya in Their Powerful NAACP Award Acceptance Speech

Gabrielle Union-Wade and Dwyane Wade used their platform on Saturday to stand up for and shine a light on the rights of the LGBTQ and transgender community. The couple was honored with the  President’s Awards at the NAACP Image Awards just one day after their daughter Zaya’s name change and the changes of sex markers on her legal documents were legally approved.

“[Friday] was a big day for Zaya Wade,” Wade told Variety. “And we wanted to make sure that the person who kickstarted us to even have an opportunity to be on this stage, heard directly from us.”

Union and Wade were being honored for their philanthropic support of the LGBTQ community, and Wade started his portion of the acceptance speech by saying he and his wife are two people who have “worked tirelessly” in order to have resources, access, platforms, and microphones that can help uplift the voices of others. He took the time to speak to his daughter, Zaya and to tell her that as a father, all he’s wanted to do is “get it right.”

“I’ve sat back and watched how gracefully you have taken on the public scrutiny,” the proud father of four said. “And even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of that house every morning as yourself. I admire how you’ve handled the ignorance in our world. I admire that you face every day.”

“To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement,” he continued.

The former NBA player went on to say that his job as a father isn’t to create a version of himself or direct Zaya’s future, but to be “a facilitator” of “her hopes, her wishes, and her dreams.”

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