Dwyane Wade’s Daughter Officially Granted Legal Name, Gender Change
In August 2022, retired NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade filed a request to legally change his transgender daughter’s gender and name. A little over six months later, the request was granted.
According to TMZ, the request for the 15-year-old’s legal identity change was signed off by a Los Angeles County judge on Friday (Feb. 25). Originally under the government name of Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, she now legally identifies as a female and the name Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.
The transition did not come without a struggle. Dwayne Wade, 40, shares Zaya with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, who didn’t share the same opinion as her ex-husband.
Zaya Wade first came out as transgender in February 2020.
According to Page Six, Siohvaughn has made accusations of Wade “pressuring their child” into changing gender and name “in order to capitalize on financial opportunities.”
In a court filing by Wade in November 2022, he fired back at his ex, stating her claims were “nonsensical” and that the petition “is about allowing Zaya to take on the milestones of being a young adult with confidence and joy.”
Funches believed that her daughter– who she referred to as Zion in her rebuttal – should’ve waited until she was 18 to make the decision.
Since Zaya Wade’s first public announcement of being transgender, Wade has been a strong advocate for his daughter’s right to “live more comfortably.” At the conclusion of his November 2022 filing, he did prefer to have Siohvaugn’s support with their daughter and that “Zaya should not be forced to put her life on hold” while her mother comes to grips with “acknowledging and accepting her truth.”
Wade, in a November 2, 2022, Instagram post, stated that he and his current wife Gabrielle Union would never force an identity on any of their children.
Wade is also the father to Zaire, 20, Xavier, 9 and Kaavia, 4.