Dwyane Wade Files To Legally Change Name and Gender For Daughter Zaya
Dwyane Wade is taking legal steps toward supporting his daughter Zaya’s transition by officially filing to change her name and gender.
The NBA star filed legal documents asking a Los Angeles County Court judge to change his child’s name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade, The Blast reports. Wade cited his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches in the filing — saying he has full authority to make this decision.
“Pursuant to the terms of the Final Custody Judgment, (Wade) has full authority to make decisions on behalf of the petitioning minor, and he is not required to receive consent from Ms. Funches-Wade,” the documents state.
“As a courtesy, Ms. Funches-Wade has received notice of this petition,” it adds.
In the filing, Wade asked the court to issue a decree that officially identifies Zaya as a “female” and cites the reason as “to conform with gender identity.”
Wade has spoken openly about Zaya’s gender identity and how she has identified herself as a woman since age 3.
“Zaya has known it for nine years,” the retired Miami Heat player revealed on Good Morning America in 2020. “I knew early on that I had to check myself. … I’ve been a person in the locker room that has been a part of the conversation that has said the wrong phrases and the wrong words myself.”
Wade has credited Zaya with helping open his eyes to the importance and beauty of living in your truth.
“My daughter was my first interaction when it comes to having to deal with this conversation,” Wade explained.
“Hopefully, I’m dealing with it the right way. … Inside our home we see the smile on my daughter’s face, we see the confidence that she’s able to walk around and be herself and that’s when you know you’re doing right.”
In June, Wade admitted his fears for Zaya whenever she goes out into the world due to her gender identity.
“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house,” Wade said at the Time100 Summit. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”