Dwyane Wade Files To Legally Change Name For Daughter Zaya, 15

Dwyane Wade took a legal step to support transgender daughter Zaya as he legally filed to change both her name and gender in the state of California.

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Dwyane Wade, 40, filed to have his 15-year-old daughter Zaya’s name and gender legally changed, according to court documents obtained by The Blast. The father-of-four cited the change to be “to conform with gender identity,” per the outlet. He also made sure to note that he has “has full authority” to decide on behalf of the “petitioning minor” and does not need the permission of Zaya’s mother Siohvaughn Funches, per their custody arrangement.

“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. As a courtesy, Ms. Funches-Wade has received notice of this petition,” the document reads, per the outlet. Dwyane and Siohvaughn were previously married from 2002 to 2010 and had two kids together: Zaya and Zaire Wade, 20. In addition, the documents detailed the request to legally have Zaya’s gender reflect “female.”

The court filing comes just over two years after Dwyane publicly revealed to the world that Zaya came out to her parents as transgender. Back in February 2020, Dwyane appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss the heartfelt moment when Zaya asked Dwyane and her stepmom Gabrielle Union, 49, to call her by her new name. “We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well,” the former pro basketball player told Ellen. “We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously.”

Dwyane & Zaya Wade
Dwyane Wade with his daughter Zaya Wade on the red carpet. (John Salangsang/Shutterstock)

He went to add, “So when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can, and that doesn’t change now.” Zaya’s father further revealed that his daughter asked him and his wife to start using she/her pronouns. “I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,” she told her parents, according to Dwyane.

Two years later, gorgeous Zaya has confidently put her true self forward, embracing who she truly is. On her Instagram, where she has over 540K followers, she can be seen modeling for many high fashion designers from Stella McCartney, Valentino, and Fendi.

Zaya also shares a close bond with her dad, posting a a sweet message for him on Father’s Day back in June. She captioned the post, “Happy Father’s Day!!! I love you dad, all your support and unconditional love. You are the best father I could ever hope for @dwyanewade.”

Zaya also has two other sibling’s aside from her brother Zaire, including Kaavia James Union Wade, 3, and Xavier Zechariah Wade, 8. Kaavia is Dwyane and Gabrielle’s first child together, while Dwyane shares Xavier with ex Aja Metoyer, 38.