Zaya Wade turns 13-years-old today, and while sending well-wishes, actor Hill Harper referred to the transitioning teen as a “young man.”
Zaya Wade is officially a teenager as she celebrates her 13th birthday. Father Dwyane Wade and stepmom Gabrielle Union are proud parents of the teen and they expressed their love with heartfelt, lengthy social media posts dedicated to Zaya. For months, the Wade family has been met with criticism because of their acceptance of Zaya transitioning from male to female at such a young age, but it hasn’t deterred the family from being a supportive unit. Actor Hill Harper chimed in to wish Zaya a happy birthday, but in his message, he referred to Zaya as a boy and was quickly met with backlash.
“Happy Birthday young man!! Read ‘Letters to a Young Brother’!!! Your mom wrote something in it!! You’ll love it! Have a great day!!” Harper commented. It didn’t take long for the public to let Harper know that Zaya Wade now identifies as a girl, and he was quick to respond. “I would like to apologize for my post. I am responsible for what gets posted and I made a horrible error. I misgendered my friend’s child and I am so sorry to Zaya and the entire Wade family. It was not my intention to misgender and misrepresent her in any way. I celebrate Zaya,” Hill Harper tweeted. “As a family friend I feel so bad that I may have taken away from the celebration. Zaya’s courage and strength is something I celebrate. And there was absolutely no malicious intent to my post.”
“I am human and I am learning and often trying to do too many things which leads to mistakes like this one. I am sorry,” Harper continued. “I’m sorry to those my post offended, that was certainly not my intention.” He went to reiterate his apology once again, adding that during these times, the last thing he wanted to do was to become a “negative distraction.” Read through his tweets and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s birthday posts below.