Actor Hill Harper admits he made a ‘horrible error’ after referring to Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s transgender daughter, Zaya, as a ‘young man’ on her 13th birthday.
The Good Doctor star Hill Harper, 54, is regretful for calling Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s daughter Zaya, who is a transgender female, by the wrong gender. Underneath Gabrielle’s Instagram birthday tribute for her stepdaughter on May 29, Hill wrote in a now-deleted comment, “Happy Birthday young man!! Read Letters to a Young Brother!!! Your mom wrote something in it!! You’ll love it! Have a great day!!” (according to this screenshot).
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 (@hillharper) May 29, 2020
Hill was immediately called out over his birthday wishes for Zaya, who celebrated her 13th birthday on Friday. Fans were also upset to see Hill give a shout-out to his self-help book, which is aimed at young men. He soon took to Twitter to apologize.
“I would like to apologize for my post. I am responsible for what gets posted and I made a horrible error,” he admitted in a tweet, shared on May 29. “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.” HollywoodLife has reached out to Dwyane and Gabrielle’s reps; both parents have not commented on Hill’s remarks.
In the post that Hill commented on, Gabrielle had written, “Happy Birthday baby!!! I can’t believe you are 13!! @zayawade you are such an inspiration and motivation to get my butt up everyday and fight. When I’m weary, frustrated, full of rage, I see your face and your joy and you living your best life and I want that for all of us. I love you sooooo much kid!! Enjoy this day and everyday knowing you are loved, protected, respected, admired and celebrated.”
Meanwhile, Dwyane gushed over his daughter’s bravery by writing, “watching you walk in your truth and live your life your way is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been able to experience in my life.” He added, “In a world where the color of your skin is deemed a threat you continue to be the bravest person I know and I’m gonna stand by your side until there isn’t anymore standing left to do.” You can read his full touching message above!
Dwyane confirmed Zaya’s gender identity during his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which aired on Feb. 11. “We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Dwyane told Ellen DeGeneres. “We’re proud allies, as well. We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question or an issue or anything, it’s our job as parents to listen and give them the best information and feedback that we can.”