Supportive parents are designed to uplift their children, no matter how they identify, but unfortunately, for children in our community who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, support, and unconditional love can be hard to come by, especially if your parent is in the spotlight, as a public figure. However, some celebrity parents are anomalies – as they not only understand their child’s identity but also encourage them to live out loud in their truth. Take the Wades, for example, and their public support of their now 16-year-old daughter, Zaya Wade. In 2020, Zaya came out to the world as transgender, and her parent has championed her ever since.
On Feb. 25, 2023, the Wades accepted the President’s Awards at the NAACP Image Awards. The honor ironically came one day after Zaya’s name and sex markers changes on her legal documents were legally approved. “I’ve sat back and watched how gracefully you have taken on the public scrutiny. And even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of that house every morning as yourself,” he stated.
He continued, “You’ve made me a better human just simply by being who you were born to be,” he said. “Our baby girl. Thank you for showing the world what courage looks like.”
Union then called to action to the NAACP audience and the Black community to extend advocacy, respect, and kindness to Black trans people, who she said are “targeted, terrorized, and hunted.”
“We are hopeful that we may witness a real shift in the fight for justice,” she said. “The moment the movement makes room for everyone. Everyone.”
The Wades demonstrate what a supportive parent unit can do for LGBTQ+ kids and teens exploring their identity and sexuality. The parents below also highlight the gift of intentional and kind parenting and how it benefits their children’s self-esteem and personhood.
Magic and Cookie Johnson, parents of EJ:
EJ Johnson’s birthday was on June 4th, and their father took to Instagram to celebrate and honor them. Their dad wrote, “Happy Birthday to my son, EJ!! I love your pure heart and creativity! Keep living your truth; it’s what I love about you most! Have a great day❤️”
Johnson once said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, “I think it’s all about you not trying to decide what your daughter or son should be or what you want them to become. It’s all about loving them no matter who they are, what they decide to do.”
The Wades, parents of Zaya Wade:
Dwyane Wade is a devoted husband and father. He supported his daughter, Zaya, coming out as transgender in 2020. In a heartfelt Instagram post at the time, Wade reiterated his endless love for his child unapologetically.
“Unconditional love, simply put, is love without strings attached,” Wade wrote in an Instagram post featuring a series of photos of Zaya. “It’s love you offer freely. You don’t base it on what someone does for you in return. You simply love them and want nothing more than their happiness. This type of love, sometimes called compassionate or agape love 🖤🖤🖤 @zayawade.”
Marlon Wayans, father of daughter Amai:
Wayans daughter Amai is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and the entertainer openly supports them.
Sade, mother of a transgender son, Izaak Theo Adu:
Izaak Theo Adu shared he was transgender in 2016, and his mother, Sade, has supported his journey.
Cynthia Bailey, mother of Noelle Robinson:
Bailey’s daughter Noelle opened up about her sexual fluidity in 2019.
Robert Stafford, father of Lil Nas X:
After Lil Nas X’s father, gospel musician Robert Stafford took to Instagram to acknowledge his son’s creative decisions along with his identity when he came out publicly as gay and fully embraced his sexuality in his Montero (Call Me By Your Name) music video.
Stafford wrote on Instagram, “Very creative video. I got through it 😂😂. Congratulations. Live life on your terms. Very PROUD of you 💪🏾💪🏾🙏🏾.”
Khary Payton, father of a transgender son, Karter:
The Walking Dead star introduced his transgender son Karter to the world on Instagram in June 2020 with the caption, “This is my kid. One of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals I’ve ever known. My son, Karter, Karter with a K because it reminded him of my name. He chose it.”
The proud dad continued, “He was born female but has always identified as a boy. He thought it would be cool if I announced it on social media. I told him that there would be so many supporters but also a lot of jerks who would be harsh.”
Coco of SWV, mother to Jaylon:
We can’t get enough of this dynamic duo! During a recent Q&A session with fans on YouTube, Coko of SWV opened up about her youngest son, Jaylon (aka, Jayye), being gay and embracing him no matter what. Jaylon is Coko’s son from her marriage to producer and drummer Mike “Big Mike” Clemons.