Gabrielle Union has been a vocal ally to as well as the larger LGBTQ community. And on Wednesday, the actress revealed she's amplifying her support through storytelling.
Union's production company I'll Have Another has optioned television rights to the inspirational memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue by LGBTQ activist and journalist George M. Johnson. The story will be developed as a series with Sony Pictures TV, according to Deadline.
"Queer black existence has been here forever yet rarely has that experience been shown in literature or film and television," Union, 47, told the outlet. "Being a parent to a queer identifying daughter has given me the platform to make sure that these stories are being told in a truthful and authentic way and George’s memoir gives you the blueprint for that and more."
(Union is step-mother to husband Dwyane Wade's queer-identifying daughter Zaya, 12.)
She continued: "What I love about this book is that it not only offers a space for queer kids of color to be seen and heard but it also offers those who see themselves outside of that standpoint to be held accountable and help them better understand what it takes to truly have acceptance with someone who is considered other."
When Zaya came out as transgender earlier this year, her family rallied around her.
"Meet Zaya. She’s compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her," Union wrote on social media in February, alongside a video of Zaya, who can be heard stressing the importance of being "true to yourself."
"It’s ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people," Union added.
Both Union and the author understand the importance of sharing queer black stories. And All Boys Aren't Blue is a compelling one.
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In a series of personal essays, Johnson follows the hardships and joys that came with growing up black and queer in New Jersey and Virginia. In one of the more difficult scenes, he remembers getting his teeth kicked out by bullies when he was just 5 years old. He also explores themes like marginalization, the importance of family and black boyhood.
"I wrote this memoir and shared these stories because of the importance and need to center black stories from the black perspective," Johnson told Deadline. “I didn’t have stories like these growing up and honestly I don’t have many now so I knew I needed to do my part to make sure the next generation of black queer children had something they could relate to and connect with."
He added: "There are days I look at TV and film and still don’t see myself represented. So, my ultimate goal was providing the story I didn’t have but always needed and to be the vessel so that so many can feel seen and heard."
Johnson is thrilled to be working with an ally like Union, he told the outlet.
"She’s someone who is not only a champion in the fight for supporting marginalized communities of color," he said, according to Deadline, "but the work she’s doing as a storyteller and producer is lifting every voice who hasn’t had the opportunity to be heard.”