Zaya Wade Says ‘We Are Here, We Are Queer,’ Talks Being A Role Model for Trans Youth

A key to living authentically is protecting your peace.

Zaya Wade, daughter of former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, recently got candid about being a role model for other transgender youth in her first magazine cover shoot for the Spring 2023 Issue of Dazed.


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“I’m a microphone. I am my own person, and I have my own experiences, but for me as a role model, I try to use my personal experience to broadcast the positives and also the negatives in life because a lot of LGBTQ+ youth go unrecognized in every way,” Wade, 15, said.

Wade’s stepmother, Gabrielle Union, an actress, beauty icon, and activist, has played a major role in the young teen’s views on beauty and self-love.

“It’s about being you and expressing yourself the way you want to.” Wade shared a piece of advice from her stepmother. “She tries to teach me that beauty standards are arbitrary and that they don’t mean anything. They don’t matter anymore; what people thought was the standard is not. And just that being myself is the best technique out there.”

Wade shared the magic sensation she felt, laying down her first wig, an impactful and emotional moment as she could finally see herself how she wanted to.

“I think I am here to share those experiences: to voice them, but also to enhance them. So the world can know, ‘We are here, we are queer, we are here to stay, and we aren’t going anywhere,’” she added.

Wade came out as transgender in 2020, and her father, Dwyane, shared his daughter’s announcement during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.