Gabrielle Union is still doing the rounds to support her book You Got Anything Stronger?: Stories. She has been opening up about her life and all the things that have defined her as a woman, wife and mother. Union’s candid energy was front and center during an interview with We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle.
The Apple Podcast episode is titled GABRIELLE UNION: Infertility, Bonus Parents & Free Families, and sees Union opening up on the aforementioned topics. Most interesting has been her dynamic as bonus mom, or step-mom, to husband Dywane Wade’s kids Zaire and Zaya.
Union says her relationship with the concept of step-parent was unique because her parents got divorced later in her life. Because of this, she has never referred to her father’s new wife as step-mom or mom, she simply calls her by her name. Union goes on to say that for a long time she did not even have a maternal instinct, and never baby sat or anything.
This all changed when dating Wade. Gabrielle Union says that the two were dating and pretty free in the beginning. Wade then fell into a very public custody battle where he got custody of both Zaire and Zaya. An NBA player getting full custody was unheard of according to Union, and not something she expected. She said that it went from her and Wade to her Wade and the kids over night.
The ‘Being Mary Jane’ actress initially had a fence up, but says she knew the kids would need guidance and parenting and that she wanted to be consistent around them. She understood that the kids had been through a lot but was not sure what her role was. Union revealed that when Wade proposed to her, he proposed with the kids. So she knew she was marrying him and the children. The actress has worked hard to build her family and protect them and says she is now in a place where she is very crucial of who is around them.
“We made it clear that our home and anything we touch is a sanctuary” she told Glennon Doyle after telling a story about Zaya coming out. Zaya was worried that people would judge her or make her feel bad about being gay. Dwyane and Gabrielle helped her come out to her siblings and the staff in their home. Union says that making their house a sanctuary made all the difference for Zaya. “If you can’t pull it together to be decent in our home, you are not welcome in our home.”
Gabrielle Union then called the school to inform the as well so that Zaya would not have any issues. The school also had no issues with this. The host pointed out how important that was and how rare it is to not get push back from the school. Zaya Wade is a very progressive teen that has used her platform as a celebrity child to bring awareness and understanding to LGBTQIA+ teens and children. With her parents, they have been doing a lot of interviews and work to help make safer spaces for other kids like Zaya.