Photo Credit: Dwyane Wade/Instagram

The 54th annual NAACP Image Awards were broadcast live at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium last night and Gabrielle Union along with her husband Dwyane Wade were there to receive their controversial President’s award for their LGBTQ community advocacy. NAACP CEO Derrick Johnson told Variety Magazine, “I love the way they stood up and are standing up for their child,” Johnson explained about their support for their 16 year old trans child Zaya Wade. “We have five kids — for me it’s very significant for a father to stand strong, a mother to stand strong in support of their child.“

As for Wade’s remarks in accepting the award, he told the audience “As your father, all I’ve wanted to do was get it right. I’ve sat back and watch how gracefully you’ve taken on a public public scrutiny. And even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of that house every morning. As yourself. I admire how you’ve handled the ignorance in our world. I admire that you face every day. To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement.” He went on to thank Zaya for teaching him how to be a better communicator.

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“As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself or direct your future,” he added. “My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes and your dreams. Zaya, you’ve made me a better human just simply by being who you were born to be — a baby girl, Zaya Wade. So baby, thank you for showing the world what courage looks like. I’m proud that I was chosen to stand in place as your father and thank you so much NAACP for this incredible honor.”

Gabrielle Union started off of her portion of her acceptance speech by speaking to the work the NAACP has done to help black people saying they were “an organization that has led us through over a century of relentless challenge, pain, triumph, and change. And now stands with us again, at the foot of a very new era of activism, a new era that demands our collective answer to one simple question.” That question: “Will we fight for some, or will we fight for all of our people?”

“Let’s just name a couple hard truths. First, the intersection of Black rights and the rights of the LGBTQIA trans and gender non conforming people continues to be rough — that’s a huge understatement. Even as we demand equality at the top of our lungs, we consistently failed to extend our advocacy to protect some of our most vulnerable among us.”

Click here for the full transcription of Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union’s NAACP acceptance speeches