Zaya Wade, 12, makes her red carpet debut weeks after publicly coming out as trans

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union took Zaya to the Truth Awards on Saturday. (Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union took Zaya to the Truth Awards on Saturday. (Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Just weeks after her famous father, Dwyane Wade, publicly confirmed that she is transgender, 12-year-old Zaya Wade has made her official red carpet debut.

The pre-teen joined her retired NBA star dad and stepmother Gabrielle Union for Saturday’s Truth Awards, which recognizes the black LGBTQ+ community and its allies. The family coordinated their outfits by wearing bespoke Richfresh suits in a black, white, pink and kelly green color palette, with Zaya pairing a bold green jacket and blouse with a hot pink sash and clutch.

Zaya — who last month urged supporters to “just be true to yourself” in a heart-to-heart with her dad — prepped for her big red carpet moment by road-testing some runway-worthy poses in a photo shoot at home with Union.

“Always us,” the actress wrote on Instagram. “Always.”

Union’s post — which shows Zaya turning the poolside patio into a catwalk of sorts — was met with some transphobic reactions, but got plenty of love, too. Trans activist Janet Mock and actress Tracee Ellis Ross were among those cheering the family on, while one fan praised Union for featuring “two beautiful strong women.”

“It was important for Zaya to be a part of such a beautiful night and reminding her of all the love and support she has,” Union shared in a separate post featuring Wade. “We were moved to tears so many times throughout the night. So much gratitude.”

In another post, she added, “We keep moving forward. We keep leading with love, light, and hope for a better more inclusive world. Stay put and stay mad if you want. We keep it pushing. Always.”

Wade also shared photos from the evening, taking a moment to play proud papa.

“Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself— her name is Zaya Wade!” the former Miami Heat star wrote. “Last night was Zaya’s first red carpet and we couldn’t have been prouder of how she handled the questions that were asked of her. She has emerged as one of the young faces and voices for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Wade’s post drew support from stars like actor Mark Wahlberg and former basketball star Chris Bosh.

Related: Zaya Wade Records Inspirational Message, Transgender Journey Revealed

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