Michelle Obama and Zaya Wade Interview Leaves Viewers With Mixed Reactions

Zaya Wade was thrust into the spotlight last year when she came out as transgendered. As a child with famous parents, naturally, people branded her the face for trans teens. Parents Dywane Wade and Gabrielle Union did an incredible job supporting and uplifting their daughter during such a critical time, and Zaya did not shy away from her platform taking every opportunity to represent herself and trans teens everywhere.

Her inspiring story caught the attention of forever First Lady Michelle Obama. Calling Michelle her “idol”, Zaya geeked out over their conversation, visibly excited and starstruck. “I’m meeting an idol. I’m literally meeting an idol,” she said in a clip of their conversation on Instagram. “[I’ve been] preparing for this moment for so long.”

Zaya quickly shifted the focus to Michelle’s book “Becoming”, and what advice she has for teens reading it. “What advice do you have for teens who want to be themselves and thrive like you have and currently are?” Asked Zaya.  Obama then responded, “Well, like you have and currently are.”

Michelle Obama, 57, made sure to let 13-year-old Zaya know that she was just as excited to meet her. “I am just so proud of you, you know, being just an amazing role model and embracing your truth,” she told the teen.

Michelle was quick to commend Zaya for walking in her truth and being herself despite what the world may think. She also thanked her for doing the interview, since she had to take a break from school to do so. Michelle Obama then gave some amazing advice about allowing yourself to grow.

“It does take time to know what yourself is, for young people. So, my first piece of advice is [to] be patient with yourself, No. 1,” Michelle Obama advised. “At your age, or in the teenage years and probably through your 20s, you’re gonna be experimenting with so many versions of yourself, right? All young people are trying on different versions, different voices, they’re learning more about their intellect, they’re learning about what they love, what they’re good at, what they like. This is the period of exploration.”

She went on to advise Zaya and kids like her to never second guess who they are and what they are going through to be who they’re meant to be.

Many viewed the interview as amazing, praising the pair’s connection as well as Obama’s advice to the young teen.  However, there were those on social media who began to criticize Obama for calling Wade a “role model.”  “What has the world become,” commented one user, while others questioned her choice of words.  “Kmt I do not like it,” wrote another. 

“Much love and respect but the emasculation of Black men agenda must end. protect our kids‼️” wrote another.

However, they were praised by many who called it “adorable”.  Check out some more user interactions below.

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