Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union Share Sweet Tributes For Zaya’s 16th Birthday

Getty / Michael Kovac

Zaya Wade is sweet 16. The teen daughter of Dwyane Wade celebrated her milestone birthday on May 29, and her former NBA star dad, along with her step-mom Gabrielle Union, took to Instagram to share sweet throwbacks in honor of her big day. Dwayne’s photo gallery consists of snaps of him beaming with his daughter and a few of her solo shots – including a snap from her runway debut at Paris Fashion Week in March. He also included a throwback video of Zaya in Captain America pajamas dancing. The NBA All-Star wrote in the caption, “6Teen” with a hand-heart emoji. Dwyane then shared more photos and clips of Zaya through the years on his Instagram Story.

Meanwhile, Union’s post includes similar photos of her and Zaya together, including a heartwarming video of them goofing around at the beach, plus a clip of her and Dwyane hyping Zaya up. Union captioned it, “16” with a black heart. Zaya posted wide-eye emojis in the comment section of both her parents’ posts.

Zaya’s older brother Zaire, 21, also shared his love for his sister on Instagram, writing in his Story, “what’s understood doesn’t need to be explained!! Love you kid, thru it all.” Zaya’s cousin Dahveon Morris, 21, who she was raised with, shared birthday wishes on his Instagram Story as well, adding, “YK I’m always rocking wit you through the good and bad.” Dwyane also has a son named Xavier, 9, and shares his daughter Kaavia, 5, with Union.

As for Zaya, to honor her birthday, she posted a series of selfies on Instagram and wrote, “so thankful for all the love.”

Zaya has often talked about the strength she gets from her loving family. In March, she told Dazed that she feels most empowered “when my family surrounds me.” “They are such a giant support system and have always been there for me,” she added. “No matter what happens, I feel strongest when I’m with them.”

Zaya also reflected on the “highs and some lows” of growing up in the public eye as a trans girl. “A lot of attention equals a lot more hate, a lot of transphobia, and [there is] a lot of pressure on me, but I’m also able to reach more people,” she told the outlet. “The positives of having such an inclusive platform completely outweigh all of the negativity online, which my support system has enabled me to filter out. It has allowed me to let in the positivity and distribute it to all of the trans people in the world who need a voice and give them a platform to get inspired to live with themselves without being afraid.”

Earlier this month, Zaya’s father revealed that their family moved out of Florida thanks in part to recent anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ laws in the state.

Related: Dwyane Wade Says His Own Dad Taught Him How to Support Zaya When She Came Out

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