gabrielle union, zaya wade

Zaya Wade, Gabrielle Union.  Source: CHRIS DELMAS / Getty

In her new movie, The Inspection, Gabrielle Union had to play a homophobic mother. This was a major challenge considering that she’s stepmother to her trans-gender stepdaughter Zaya Wade.

In the film, her character, Inez French, cannot come to terms with her son being gay. Due to his sexuality, she disowns him and then he then joins the marines.

“As an actress, I normally look for characters that have some chunk of me in them,” she told People. “I did not see that in Inez.

Even though she and the character don’t have anything in common besides motherhood, she still saw the beauty in the overall story. In order to play Inez, she had to tap into her own dark place.

“It’s not going to manifest itself in the same way, but when you are centering an oppressor’s idea of who you need to be to be considered worthy of all of the things, everybody is on the chopping block.”

Gabrielle Union couldn’t relate to the homophobia in Inez French at all.

“I always look at homophobes as trash, she continued. Google is free and I’m not doing free labor for you to figure out how to love your kid.”

Once Zaya Wade told her that she was trans-gender at the tender age of 12, her love for her didn’t shake.

“I’m never going to reject my child. My child, none of my children, are disposable. But I get the deep desire to be seen as worthy, and anything that threatens that can go, and for some people that includes their children.”

Union made sure to educate herself once Wade told her that she was trans.

“I didn’t have many resources, so I just reached out to everyone I knew from social media,” Union said in 2020.  “Everyone responded with love, resources and information.”

The Inspection will be released Nov. 18, 2022.


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