Gabrielle Union reveals what she has learned from her stepdaughter, Zaya

Some might say it isn’t always easy stepping into the role of stepmom. At first, everything seems fine, then all of a sudden you realize your stepdaughter has a twin, and they’re scheming to get their parents back together and…oh wait, that’s the plot of the Parent Trap. Well, either way, being a stepmom can be a learning curve for some.

Someone who has risen to the occasion of stepmom is Gabrielle Union. But first, let’s back up for a minute. Following a divorce from Chris Howard, Union was first spotted with current hubby Dwayne Wade at a charity gala in 2009. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that they confirmed their relationship status by hitting the red carpet together. By 2014 they were engaged and tied the knot in August of that year (they also took an epic honeymoon in the Maldives), per Insider

Wade brought three children from previous relationships into the marriage, including a son, Xavier, who he welcomed in 2014 while he and Union were on break. The athlete also has custody of his nephew, according to Insider. Union has a tight relationship with her bonus kids, and she has learned a lot from all of them, particularly from Zaya, her stepdaughter who came out as transgender. 

Gabrielle Union's parents with an open mind

Gabrielle Union joined Taraji P. Henson as the first guest on the latter’s new Facebook Watch show, Peace of Mind with Taraji, to talk about all things mental health and other important issues. And during the conversation, Henson asked Union about her stepdaughter coming out as transgender. “Zaya’s peace is non-negotiable,” Union explained. Zaya, who came out at 12, and has received ongoing support from both Union and Dwayne Wade.

“As Zaya gathered more language, she was able to tell us about her identity,” Union continued, “[Zaya] was able to tell us about her sexuality. She was able to tell us, ‘I’m trans.’ She says, ‘I’ve come out a few times. I came out to my teacher in third grade. And then, when you guys posted that picture of me in Chicago at my birthday party.'” Union and her husband are doing their best to support their daughter on her journey, and the actor admits there’s been a bit of a learning curve for everyone involved. “[Zaya] asked for a demisexual flag for her birthday, and Dwyane’s like to me, ‘Do you know what that is?'” Union told Henson.

The experience has been a net positive for the family, and Union said she learns more and more from Zaya every day. She shared, “We only know what we know. You have to be open to embrace what we don’t know.”

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