Dwyane Wade’s 15-Year-Old Daughter Legally Changes Name And Gender

Dwyane Wade’s 15-year-old transgender daughter has been officially granted a name and gender change. 
Credit: Alamy

Dwyane Wade’s 15-year-old transgender daughter has been granted an official name and gender change. 

The retired NBA star shares Zaya Wade, 15, with his ex-wife Soihvaughn Funches.

The pair’s divorce was finalised in 2013, almost two years after Wade was awarded full custody of their two children, including Zaire Wade, 21. 

Now, court documents show that a Los Angeles County judge has signed off on the legal name and gender change petition filed by Wade last year, reports TMZ

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Zaya is now legally recognised as female and her name has been changed to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.

Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Wade spoke about the day his daughter came out as trans.

He says: “Our [then] 12-year-old came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys’. 

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“’I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth and I wanted to be referenced as she and her and I would love for you guys to call me Zaya’.”

Wade adds that he was ‘trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self’.

However, Zaya’s mother reportedly tried to stop Wade’s petition from going through.

According to reports, Funches filed an objection to the courts, obtained by TODAY, requesting that Zaya wait until ‘the age of majority’ to make permanent changes to her identity.

In the documents, she reportedly added: “I contend that our child should be given the opportunity to decide for themselves at the age of majority if they want to move forward with changing their name and/or gender.”

Dwyane Wade with daughter Zaya.
Zaya Wade has legally changed her name and gender. Credit: @dwyanewade/Instagram

Funches alleges that her ex-husband is using his celebrity profile to make a profit off of Zaya’s brand deals, reports MailOnline

Taking to Instagram to deny the claims made by his ex-wife, Wade says (via The Metro): “Since this must be the new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegations here, which is a damn shame. 

“While I’m on a life-changing trip in 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. 

“These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children.”

Later, Wade went on to file new documents asking the LA Superior Court to allow Zaya to change her name and gender, as it is ‘in her best interest’.

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The documents reportedly say: “This petition is not about Siohvaughn or Dwyane or their prior marriage, it is about what Zaya wants and what is in her best interest. 

“This petition is about empowering Zaya to live her truth.”

The ex-Miami Heat star notes that he has ‘sole care, custody and control of Zaya’ – meaning he should have the final say on the choices she makes.

He finishes: “While it certainly would have been preferable for Zaya’s mother to be supportive of this important part of Zaya‘s journey, Zaya should not be forced to put her life on hold while she waits for Siohvaughn to acknowledge and accept her truth.” 

Wade is also father to 9-year-old son Xavier, who he had with ex-girlfriend Aja Metoyer, and 4-year-old daughter Kaavia, with current wife and actress Gabrielle Union.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.