At the 54th annual Image Awards over the weekend, Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union were presented with the esteemed Presidents Medal by the NAACP.

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Both individuals delivered powerful statements supporting the Black LGBTQIA community.

“Whenever I use my position, I do so consciously. Wade stated, “I am aware of what I have been granted, and it is my responsibility to elevate the voices of others and share my access and resources.

Wade began his address by expressing gratitude for the honor to his transgender daughter Zaya, age 15, who is receiving it.

“Zaya, as your parent, my only goal has been to do it correctly. Wade said, “I’ve stood back and observed how eloquently you’ve handled the public scrutiny and, despite the fact that it’s not easy, I’ve observed you leave that home every morning as yourself.

The former NBA player praised his daughter for teaching him that there are multiple effective communication methods.
“You’ve shown me that using just my voice to communicate is insufficient. Wade continued, “I also have to connect with my two ears and my two eyes.

“A new era that demands our collective answer to one simple question: Will we fight for some or will we struggle for all of our people,” Gabrielle said in response. Even as we scream out for equality, we repeatedly fail to expand our advocacy to safeguard some of our most defenseless citizens.

Wade concluded his speech by expressing his “proudness to be chosen” as Zaya’s parent to an emotional audience.

He said, “Zaya, you’ve improved me as a person just by being who you were meant to be, a baby girl, Zaya Wade. “So baby, thank you for demonstrating bravery to the world.”

View the entire address below.


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