Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade were excited to celebrate a big family event on Friday, and they took to their respective Instagram pages to share the joy. Dwyane’s daughter, Zaya, is celebrating her 13th birthday, and it looks like her loved ones are quite excited for her.
Both Dwyane and Gabrielle shared pictures and lengthy comments via Instagram on Friday to praise Zaya and wish her a grand birthday. The photos were filled with love and joy, and thousands of fans were quick to share their own birthday wishes with the new teenager.
Those who have been following the family for the past few months know that Zaya recently came out publicly as transgender. Zaya’s biological mother is Dwyane’s ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches, but the teen has clearly become quite close to Gabrielle too.
Zaya has been fierce and open in living as her true self over these past few months, and Dwyane and Gabrielle have always made it clear that they are proud of her. In these birthday posts, they went into detail in praising the teen.
Dwyane noted that this has been a tough week, seemingly a reference to the George Floyd incident that took place Monday in Minneapolis. Despite the tough week, Dwyane continued, he has watched Zaya live her truth and he said it’s one of the greatest gifts in his life.
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I wanna take this moment to acknowledge you Zaya on your 13th birthday‼️ I’ve woken up every day this week with low energy and not a lot of faith in people. But waking up and watching you smile, watching you walk in your truth and live your life your way is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been able to experience in my life. In a world where the color of your skin is deemed a threat you continue to be the bravest person I know and I’m gonna stand by your side until there isn’t anymore standing left to do. I love you more than words can articulate. I hope you feel all of my love today and everyday of your life. You’re Bold, You’re courageous, You are Zaya. Happy Birthday we LOVE you‼️
Dwyane added that he will be standing by Zaya’s side until there’s no more standing that needs to be done. He called her bold and courageous and wished her a happy birthday. Along with the sweet, sentimental caption, Dwyane shared four adorable photos showing him with Zaya out on a balcony.
Gabrielle’s post consisted of one snapshot showing her with Zaya. In addition to wishing the teen a happy birthday and noting how much she loves her, Gabrielle also wrote about how inspiring and motivating the young girl is.
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Happy Birthday baby!!! I can't believe you are 13!! @zayawade you are such an inspiration and motivation to get my butt up everyday and fight. When I'm weary, frustrated, full of rage, I see your face and your joy and you living your best life and I want that for all of us. I love you sooooo much kid!! Enjoy this day and everyday knowing you are loved, protected, respected, admired and celebrated. ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Within a couple of hours, the posts had a combined 266,000 likes and almost 2,500 comments.
“Wow! Crying! Yes D!!! Wishing all of our children would know this kind of love and acceptance. Shine on and Happy Birthday @zayawade!!! We love you!” noted actress Essence Atkins.
“Happy birthday Zaya — you go GIRL,” wrote one of Dwyane’s followers.
“Happy birthday to your inspirational daughter!” someone shared on Gabrielle’s post.
“I’m so proud of how you are supporting your daughter @gabunion,” another fan said.
There were plenty of unsupportive comments written on the two posts as well, ones that referred to Zaya as a boy or with male pronouns. Gabrielle and Dwyane seem to simply ignore these, and many of those negative commenters received pushback from other fans of the family.
This year has been intense and challenging for Zaya in many ways, but she always seems to exude confidence and joy. Gabrielle and Dwyane make it clear that they love and support Zaya entirely, and it looks like they’re all set for the teen’s 13th year to be a great one.