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Proud and protective Gabrielle Union recently spoke candidly on her stepdaughter while having an in-depth conversation with a fellow actress.

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During Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch show Peace of Mind with Taraji starring Taraji and her best friend and co-host Tracie Jade, Gabby opened up about her own personal struggles with mental health.

On Gabby’s episode titled “PTSD with Gabrielle Union: Not Just For Combat Vets”  the actress, 48, detailed how being raped at gunpoint at 19 sparked her current battle with PTSD. She also dished on her how quarantining amid the coronavirus pandemic has affected her and her marriage to hubby D Wade.

The discussion also flowed into Gabby speaking on her stepdaughter Zaya Wade, 13, coming out as transgender.

According to Gabby the teen who came out a “few times” and identifies as trans and demisexual, unfortunately, felt “outed” by “certain Black blogs” after a photo of her that her parents posted went viral.

“As Zaya gathered more language she was able to tell us about her identity,” Gabby told Taraji. “She was able to tell us about her sexuality and she was able to tell us ‘I’m trans.’ And she says ‘I’ve come out a few times…I came out to my teacher in the 3rd grade, and when you guys posted that picture of me, in Chicago at my birthday party,’ and it’s just Zaya standing next to her cake and that picture was dissected on certain Black blogs and the comments were guessing as to who Zaya was and why…she said ‘I felt like I was outed, and I was just standing next to my cake.’ And then she spoke of coming out again when she was like ‘I’m Trans, and I’m Demisexual, and I’m not bound by gender in terms of attraction.’”

As pointed out by our sister site MadameNoire, the image in question that got picked up online was posted by Union with hearts and a rainbow.

“The latter is a symbol, at least in colors, for the LGBTQ community. The conversation surrounding the image, which featured Zaya posing like her stepmom, came about because she shared the image with that emoji,” writes MadameNoire.

Taraji herself also shared a story about her own brother coming out [a term she doesn’t necessarily agree with] and commended the Wade family for how they’ve “handled” Zaya. According to Taraji, the Wades are providing much-needed imagery of their child being herself while being protected by her parents.

“Having said that, in our community, it is very difficult because on top of the stigmas around mental health, then you have the stigmas around sexuality. Now we are dealing with social media, we have people who are very much in the spotlight, and now this baby, is charged with all of this negativity and I just want to commend you on how you guys handled it, and Dwyane Wade brother I love you because what you did, because we need that because our children are dying from suicide and these are things that they are dealing with and so, I’m getting emotional because this is very real for me,  just thank you because that imagery was very needed, so needed and you guys speaking up [to Gabrielle about her and Dwyane] just thank you.”

She’s right.

There’s lots more to unpack in Gabby’s episode including her breaking down the physical reaction she has when she feels triggered.

“Usually my right arm starts to feel like it is going numb…” said Gabby.

New episodes of Peace of Mind with Taraji drop every Monday and Wednesday at 9amPT/12pmET. Episodes can be found on and Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook page:



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