Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade help raise money for LGBTQ nonprofit

“As a family, we believe inclusion and equality are two essential pillars needed to move towards growth,” actress Gabrielle Union wrote on Instagram.
Image: Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade in West Hollywood, California, on Sept. 15, 2017.
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade in West Hollywood, California, on Sept. 15, 2017.Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic file
By Gwen Aviles

Actress Gabrielle Union and her husband, former NBA star Dwyane Wade, are helping to raise money for the LGBTQ nonprofit GLSEN, which is dedicated to ending bullying and discrimination in schools.

“As a family, we believe inclusion and equality are two essential pillars needed to move towards growth and progressive thinking and action in our society,” Union wrote on Instagram Saturday. “For 25 years, GLSEN has been the leading national organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.”

The Wade family has launched a limited-edition Pride T-shirt, and half of its proceeds will be donated to GLSEN. The $35 shirts, made in collaboration with the fashion brand YNGDNA, say the company’s name in rainbow letters on the front and reads “Please remain inclusive and dedicated 2 equality” on the back.

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In addition to the T-shirt proceeds, Union, Wade and YNGDNA have also donated $50,000 to GLSEN.

“GLSEN is honored and humbled by the Wade Family’s gift, and so tremendously grateful for their support in the hard work ahead to ensure that all LGBTQ students and youth feel safe, accepted, and included at school,” Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN, wrote in an email.

This isn’t the first time the Wade family has lent its support to the LGBTQ community. In April, Union made headlines when she attended Miami Beach Gay Pride parade with her stepsons, Zion and Zaire, and her daughter, Kaavia. Wade was in Canada at the time for the Miami Heat’s game against the Toronto Raptors, but he took to Instagram to show his support for his son, Zion, who inspired the family to attend the parade.

“Zion had his cheering section today. Wish i was there to see you smile kid!” Wade wrote. “We support each other with Pride!”

Gabrielle Union and Zion Wade at the Miami Beach Pride march@dwyanewade

In a subsequent interview with Variety, Wade added he supported his 12-year-old son's attendance at the gay pride parade because it's his job as a father.

“I don’t really talk about it much because it’s Zion’s story to tell,” Wade told Variety. “I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job. And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do. … Go and be your amazing self, and we’re going to sit back and just love you.”

In the same Instagram post where she announced the limited editIon T-shirts, Union urged her followers to “protect” transgender women, particularly black trans women.

“#Transwomenarewomen,” the “Being Mary Jane” star wrote.

Last week, a black transgender woman was found dead in her burning car in South Florida in what is being investigated as a homicide. Bee Love Slater was the 18th transgender person killed in the U.S. this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

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