Zaya Wade is popping out for Pride Month. Sitting down for an interview with Logo, the 15-year-old talked about dealing with transphobia, the unforgettable experience of her first Pride parade and her commitment to remaining her authentic self.
Zaya, the daughter of NBA legend Dwyane Wade and stepdaughter of actress Gabrielle Union, came out as trans in 2020. In the years since then, the teen has seen a massive amount of hate targeted toward herself and other trans people.
“Transphobia still exists and is widely common,” Zaya told Logo. “There are genuinely people out there who think that you’re a kid, this is a phase, or you don’t actually know what you’re talking about. I know that I’m trans and it’s not like one day I just went, ‘I want to try out being trans.’ No. So just suck it up. We are who we are.”
Speaking about attending her first Pride parade in Miami, Zaya said it was “a transformative experience.”
“It’s just so heartwarming to see all these people coming out and celebrating themselves and each other and it’s so colorful and vibrant. It’s just filled with life,” she said.
Zaya is being honored as part of the 2022 Logo30, a series that will continue throughout June, highlighting people who show pride in unique ways.
The teen articulated the meaning of Pride as she was featured in a video for the Logo30 series.
“Defiance, community, expression,” Zaya said.
Speaking about living as her authentic self, Zaya said it “feels euphoric.”
“It’s like freedom, just to release of tension and all this anxiety… Just being out and open and truthful about who I am to myself and others, those I love,” she said. “Is just a beautiful feeling to have and hold and to be able to share with the rest of the world, and help more people come into their truth. I know not every situation is the same for everyone, but it really is a beautiful and inspirational feeling to have.”