In a time of flagrant social injustice couple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to find the good things to celebrate. However, a post dedicated to Zaya Wade turned into a war in the comment section by actor Hill Harper — who swiftly apologized.
As most people know by now, Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union announced that their daughter, Zaya, is transgender. The parents took it upon themselves to educate the family about the topic and praise Zaya for being strong and living in her truth.
May 29 was Wade’s coming-of-age 13th birthday.
She was publicly celebrated by her stepmother who wrote a post that read: ‘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.’
Hill chimed in with a message that misgendered the trans teen.
‘Happy Birthday young man!! Read ‘Letters to a Young Brother’!!! Your mom wrote something in it!! You’ll love it! Have a great day!!’
Almost immediately after the comment was left, followers broke out in argument over it.
While some bashed Harper for intentionally calling the child who identifies as a girl a boy, others argued that she was born male.
Although the comment seemed to be purposely offensive, Hill took to Twitter where he offered an apology.
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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. ♥️♥️♥️♥️
The series of tweets read: ‘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.’
He went on to say: ‘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. I’m sorry to those my post offended, that was certainly not my intention.’
Gabrielle has not responded.