Gabrielle Union says Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has messed with the wrong people, after the Republican governor signed a bill into law on Friday banning gender-affirming health care for minors.
“There is an army that rebukes you, that does not agree with you and that will not lie down while this fascist rule is instituted,” Union told me Saturday at the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica. “And that’s just one state. There are several states who were doing the same thing, and they will be met with resistance. People are not going to take this lying down. They’re just not. So if you thought this was going to be a cakewalk, you’re in for a rude awakening.”
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Wade recently dedicated his and Union’s Presidents Award at the NAACP Image Awards to Zaya.
“I want to take this moment to publicly speak to our daughter Zaya,” Wade said. “Zaya, as your father, all I’ve wanted to do was get it right. I’ve sat back and watched how gracefully you’ve taken on the public scrutiny. 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 it every day. To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement. Thank you for showing me that there’s more than just one way to communicate effectively. As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself or direct your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, wishes and dreams.”
Union said Wade’s speech was off-the-cuff and not pre-written. “He was speaking from the heart and to our child,” the “Inspection” star said. “Hopefully speaking to our child, other parents will hear us. Even if you screwed up, turn it around. You don’t have to stay committed to your own ignorance and your own fears. Just trying to talk to our child and then having a call to action will hopefully make people a little uncomfortable and remind folks that you cannot barter with any member of the population.
“When you open the door to oppression, they’re not going to stop at the front door, they’re going to be in every nook and cranny of the house,” Union continued. “If you think you’re offering up a marginalized group for self-preservation, you didn’t even buy yourself any time because they’re here, we’re here.”
The Tennessee bill, which goes into effect July 1, could result in parents being charged for helping provide minors with gender-affirming care.
Gov. Lee also signed a bill limiting drag show performances in Tennessee.
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