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Michelle Obama Gushes Over Zaya Wade, 13, For Being An ‘Amazing Role Model’ & Teen Freaks Out

Zaya Wade, 13, totally freaked out when she got the chance to speak with her ‘idol,’ Michelle Obama, on a video call. The former FLOTUS was even more excited to talk to the ‘amazing’ teen!

It’s not every day that you take a phone call with Michelle Obama between classes! Zaya Wade had the thrill of a lifetime when she got to chat with the former FLOTUS about the new version of her Becoming memoir for teen readers — and it turns out that Michelle was equally excited. Michelle told the 13-year-old, who came out as transgender in 2020, just how much she admires her, too.

Dwyane Wade‘s daughter began her Q&A by asking Michelle what advice she would give teens “who want to be themselves and thrive like you have and currently are.” Michelle turned the attention back to Zaya. “Well, like you have and currently are,” she said. “I am just so proud of you, you know, being just an amazing role model and embracing your truth.”

As for the advice the mother of two would give teens? “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?” Michelle said. “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 added that teens shouldn’t put so much pressure on themselves, either.

Michelle then asked Zaya for her best advice she’d give to her peers. After all, Zaya as been lauded for her extreme courage. Despite living in the spotlight with her famous father and stepmother (Gabrielle Union), she bravely chose to come out as trans and live unapologetically as her true self. “We all think that we thrive with people who are just like us, but I think getting a different perspective from someone else who isn’t like you really helps,” Zaya said. “That definitely helped me in becoming me and defining my truth.”




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