Gabrielle Union speaks out against Ron DeSantis’ ‘hateful’ anti-trans mission after fleeing Florida

Gabrielle Union calls for people to 'vote out' Ron DeSantis.

Gabrielle Union-Wade has urged Florida residents to take a stand against governor Ron DeSantis after leaving the state to protect her trans daughter Zaya.

Union and her husband, former basketball star Dwyane Wade, announced in April that they’d moved from Florida to California over concerns of Zaya “not being accepted” as a young trans woman.

Florida has become a hotbed of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-trans legislation under staunch right-winger DeSantis, who is mounting a bid for the presidency.

The Republican has overseen the Don’t Say Gay law and its subsequent expansions, as well as efforts to ban trans people from toilets that align with their gender, and legislation to outlaw gender-affirming healthcare for young people.

As the power couple join what has been dubbed a “mass migration” out of Florida by the LGBTQ+ community, Gabrielle offered her simple strategy on how to tackle the “hateful bills” coming out of the Sunshine state.

“I’m here to say that there are people in this city, in this very city, who do not feel safe here, do not feel protected here, don’t feel the love,” she told Variety during the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in Miami.

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Gabrielle Union (L), Zaya Wade and Dwayne Wade at Paris Fashion Week
Gabrielle Union-Wade (L), with Zaya and Dwayne Wade at Paris Fashion Week.

“And when you are governed, it doesn’t matter if you’re in Tallahassee or Key West, you’re still under the same rules and regulations. So, I’m here to let people know that there is a way out and that’s called voting him out.”

Both Dwyane and step-mum Gabrielle have stood by Zaya since she publically came out as trans aged 12 in 2020, including giving heart-felt speeches, supporting her legal transition and stanning her on the fashion runway.

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Union was at the film festival to promote her upcoming projects, Netflix rom-com The Perfect Find and the BET+ docu-series My Journey to 50. Also set to star opposite Jennifer Coolidge in crime-comedy Riff Raff, Gabrielle has long proven herself to be a LGBTQ+ ally.

During an interview with Dazed for their 2023 Spring issue, Zaya opened up about the self-love advice Gabrielle offered her.

“The lesson has changed over time, but more recently it’s that beauty is in yourself,” she said. “It’s about being you and expressing yourself the way you want to.

“She tries to teach me that beauty standards are arbitrary and that they don’t mean anything. They don’t matter any more, what people thought was the standard is not, and that just being myself is the best technique out there.”

The message is particularly heart-warming considering Dwyane’s legal battle with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade who he has accused of “fighting Zaya’s identity”.

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