On Saturday, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade were jointly recognized with the President’s Award for special achievement and distinguished public service at the 54th NAACP Image Awards.
Together, the couple has advocated for racial justice and LGBT+ equality. They’ve also been outspoken about the importance of nurturing queer children – actions largely inspired by their own journey in parenting their daughter, Zaya Wade, who came out as trans in 2020.
For many viewers, it was a breath of fresh air to see two parents stand firm in their resolve; to see them root for their child, the LGBT+ community, and demand better. And the internet has exploded with applause.
“An example of what unconditional love looks like,” another chimed in.
Members of the LGBT+ community also joined the conversation, and thanked Dwyane and Gabrielle for being the parents they wish they had when growing up. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support you give your beautiful daughter,” one user wrote. “If only I had a father like you when I was coming up.”
“I am fully weeping right now,” another person added. “The trauma of having the world try and legislate us out of existence while we are being hunted is so heavy… Thank you for speaking this word. Thank you for standing 10 toes down for us. Thank you for being the kind of parents and people Zaya needs and deserves.”
People commend the couple for being an example of how parents should take the time to “learn and listen to the needs of your children.”
Because every child deserves “parents who [stand] beside them in such a fashion.”
According to The Trevor Project, trans youth experience high levels of depression, sexual violence, and suicidal thoughts. And, sadly, the trans community experiences victimization at a disproportionate and highly increased rate when compared to their cisgender counterparts. Allyship, both within and outside of the home, can be the first step in helping to alleviate the problem.
If you’d like to help, you can find resources for understanding gender identities here, crisis support here, and donate to the cause here.
If you or someone you know has experienced anti-LGBTQ violence or harassment, you can contact the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs hotline at 1-212-714-1141.
And peer-support services are available at the Trans Lifeline. You can call the hotline at 1-(877-) 565-8860.