Gabrielle Union is continuing to be a champion for her stepdaughter Zaya.
Seven months after husband Dwyane Wade's 13-year-old came out as transgender, the L.A.'s Finest star has opened up in a new cover story for Marie Claire's digital October issue about how she and the retired basketball star are committed to being the most supportive parents they can be for her.
"You want your child to feel freedom to be exactly as they are," said Union, 47, adding that she and Wade, 38, are Zaya's "lifetime lifelines to love, peace, joy, grace, protection and compassion."
The actress — who shares 22-month-old daughter Kaavia James with Wade and is stepmom to Zaya plus his two sons Xavier Zechariah, 7 next month, and Zaire, 18 — also shared with Marie Claire that Zaya has been living as her "authentic self since third grade."
Wade told the magazine of his wife, "[Motherhood] looks good on her. This kind of joy is different from anything that she has ever experienced."
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Gabrielle Union Says "Being Blackballed in This Industry Is Very Real": "You Will Never Work Again"
In her interview, the actress also recalled what it was like to see her Black colleagues not support her after she came forward with misconduct claims against NBC and America's Got Talent last year.
Union, for instance, previously spoke out about her AGT costar Terry Crews not initially standing by her after she was fired from the show. Crews, 52, has since apologized for "invalidating" her allegations.
Late last month, Union and NBC reached an amicable resolution over discrimination allegations, nearly one year after she was fired from AGT following one season on the show. The star told Marie Claire that not backing down to industry giants hopefully inspires others to speak up.
"The more you are transparent and the more you speak truth to power, it creates more space for other people to claim their reality, to claim their pain, to claim their healing and — if you want — to claim your justice," she said.
Union counts her supportive nature among her positive traits as a mom, but during an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show last month, she also admitted she can be more intense at times too.
"With the 18-year-olds I am the psychotic, overbearing, 'What are you doing now?' kind of parent and my husband is like, 'Whatever, they are going to figure it out,' " Union explained of Wade's older son Zaire and nephew Dahveon, whom he is also guardian of. "So I'm learning to kind of let go."
The Bring It On star said it has been "really hard" for her to have both boys away at school, admitting she talks to them more now than she did when they were under the same roof. "It's terrifying for me having them be across the country by themselves on these new journeys and we are not right there, and it's driving me crazy," she said.
And she certainly isn't the "cool mom" when she finds out her boys may be dating someone. "The girl situation — I become somebody that I hated dealing with when I was dating as a teen, I'm that mom," Union said.
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