Dywane Wade is clapping back at his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches, after she filed a petition against him on Nov. 2. In the petition, Siohvaughn accused Dwyane of trying to profit off their daughter, Zaya Wade’s, name and gender change, according to the court documents, obtained by PEOPLE. The now 15-year-old came out as transgender in 2019 and started going by ‘Zaya’ and using she/her pronouns. Siohvaughn claimed she was concerned that Dwyane “may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received.” She asked the court for Zaya to not be able to change her name and gender until she is 18 years old or “the age of majority.”
On Nov. 3, Dwyane took to Instagram to issue his response to Siohvaughn. “While I’m on a life-changing trip to our motherland, Africa, I’ve received a social media post about me forcing our 15 year old child to be someone she’s not and to do something against her will,” Dwyane wrote. “These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children.” Dwyane accused Siohvaughn of trying to “drag [his] name through the mud” insisted that she has not “truly spoken and LISTENED to Zaya over all these years” about her gender identity.
“I’ve given her the opportunity to reach out to Zaya’s teachers, doctors and therapist over the years and even meet her friends, so she could get her own understanding of our child’s need for her LIFE!” Dwyane alleged. “She won’t do it! She has not been to a school, recital, graduation, school dance, play date, practice, parent teacher conference etc. and Zaya has given her every opportunity to try to get to know her. She won’t do it!” He also claimed that Siohvaughn hasn’t made “any sacrifice or effort to leave her own home to participate in her children’s lives in over a decade.”
He concluded his message by reiterating that he would never force Zaya to do anything against her will. “This isn’t a game for my family and definitely not for Zaya,” he said. “This is her life! Siohvaughn has decided to pretty much be an absent parent to Zaya ALL ON HER OWN. As men, we get a bad rep for not showing up and being absentee fathers, but that’s not the case here because I’m ten toes down and I’m still going through the BS! I will not sit on my hands this time and allow her to make a mockery of my dedication to my family. The high road has run out of real estate.”
Dwyane and Siohvaughn were high school sweethearts, who married in 2002. They broke up in 2007 and he filed for divorce in 2010, winning full custody of their two children in 2011. Dwyane also has a son with Aja Metoyer, as well as a daughter with now-wife Gabrielle Union. He also raised his sister, Deanna’s, son, and was his legal guardian when he was a minor.