Niecy Nash praises Dwyane Wade’s support of Zaya: ‘Moving conversation forward’

EXCLUSIVE: As a new member of the LGBTQ+ community herself, actress and TV host Niecy Nash says 'people have a right to live their life'

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Celebrities and non-celebrities alike have had a lot to say about Zaya Wade — the daughter of former NBA star Dwyane Wade — and other LGBTQ+ young people who are publicly owning their identities.

From rappers Lil Boosie and Lil Mama to anyone with an opinion and a social media account, much has been said about trans and queer children and teens and the parents who support them.

Read More: Boosie defends Zaya Wade comments during Mike Tyson interview

Actress and TV host Niecy Nash said that while people are entitled to their opinions, she’s personally not a fan of the “ugly part” of these public debates.

Niecy Nash, Zaya Wade
(Photo: Getty Images/Instagram)

“We all have opinions and everybody has a right to that, but people also have a right to just live their life,” Nash tells theGrio during a recent sit-down with Managing Editor Gerren Keith Gaynor.

“Some people are so negative and so mean, you know, and you say, why would I ever want to listen to you? Why would you even think that is the way to speak to somebody, to judge somebody, to be toward another individual?”

She adds, “People get so angry when you don’t see a thing the way they see a thing … I still don’t get that. I still don’t understand why I have to believe it or I have to see it or even receive it the way your mind processes it.”

The 51-year-old Hollywood star, who served as this year’s host of the GLAAD Media Awards, is a new member herself to the LGBTQ+ community. Niecy Nash broke the internet when she posted a wedding photo of her marriage to her wife, Jessica Betts, last August.

Read More: Niecy Nash says she’s ‘never been with a woman before’ meeting wife on ‘RTT’

Up until that moment, the world knew Nash — who had previously been twice married to men — as a heterosexual woman. If there are any negative opinions about her marriage to Betts, Nash wouldn’t know, because she says she’s too busy being happy and feeling the support of those who’ve embraced their love story.

“I am so grateful for the people who have gathered around Jessica,” Nash tells theGrio. And while she may be new to the LGBTQ+ community, Nash says her wife is not. “She was probably a founding member,” she jokes.

(Photo: YouTube/GMA)

The recently departed host of The Masked Singer says the love she and her wife have received has outweighed “any negativity that would have shown up in our lives.”

“With or without the negativity, I’m so freaking happy and I’m not going to give that up, you know? And so I’m happy if people can look at whatever we are doing over here … we’re just living,” says Nash. “If they could take anything from that or if it’s inspiring in any kind of way, then, you know, I’m grateful for that.”

As for young members of the LGBTQ+ community, like Zaya Wade, owning who they are far much younger than previous generations, Niecy Nash says it’s important for parents to listen and support. During an interview last month, Dwyane Wade responded to the haters who’ve had negative feedback about him supporting his trans daughter.

(L-R) Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade and Gabrielle Union attend the Better Brothers Los Angeles 6th annual Truth Awards at Taglyan Complex on March 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

“All the people who got something to say about my kids, I thank you,” Wade said, “because you allowing the conversation to keep going forward. Because you know what? We might not have all the answers, but we’re growing from each conversation.”

Nash salutes Wade for his unyielding support of his daughter. “I love when Dwyane said that it wasn’t his responsibility to tell his child who she is,” says Nash. “It’s her responsibility to tell her parents who she is and then to support her.”

She adds, “It is moving the conversation forward, you know, and that’s that’s the sweet spot.”

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