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“Name and Gender Legally Changed”: Dwyane Wade Helps 15-Year-Old Daughter Make Huge Life Decision

Published 08/21/2022, 10:30 PM EDT

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NBA legend Dwyane Wade has filed a petition with a California court to legally change the name and gender of his 15-year-old daughter Zaya. According to recent reports, the retired NBA star has notified the court that he has full authority to make the decision on behalf of the petitioning minor. Dwyane Wade also informed the court that the change of gender is “to conform with gender identity” of the petitioning minor.

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About two years ago, Wade informed the public that his son Zion had decided to come out as transgender. As a result, the Miami Heat legend decided to legally change her name from Zion Wade to Zaya Wade.


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In addition, Zaya’s gender would also be legally changed under the petition’s ruling. The petition would be reviewed by a Los Angeles judge.

Dwyane Wade files a request to change daughter Zaya’s name and gender

According to recent reports, Dwyane Wade didn’t require Zaya’s mother, Siohvaughn Funches’ permission to initiate the legal procedures of the change. As it turns out, the 40-year-old NBA veteran notified the court about his full authority in terms of Zaya’s custody.

However, court documents revealed that Funches-Wade had been notified of the proceedings out of courtesy. The filing comes two years after Zaya came out to her parents. Subsequently, she asked them to use she/her pronouns to refer to her.


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In February 2020, Wade made Zaya’s decision public on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “We are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well,” the three-time NBA champion told Ellen. “We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously.”

Wade’s family life

Dwyane Wade married her high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches in 2002. After five years together, the couple separated in 2007. The following year, Wade started dating actress Gabrielle Union.


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The 2006 Finals MVP married Union in 2014 following a strenuous divorce with his first wife. Wade had two children with Funches, Zaya and a 20-year-old son named Zaire.

The former Miami Heat guard also has an 8-year-old son from a previous relationship. In 2018, Wade and Union welcomed their daughter Kaavia through surrogacy.


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Incidentally, Wade has supported Zaya’s bold decision from the very beginning of her journey. His filing of the petition shows his continued support every step of the way.

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Written by:

Satagni Sikder


One take at a time

Satagni Sikder is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has been following the NBA since 2017. Moreover, he supports the Dallas Mavericks, and unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is his favorite player.
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Edited by:

Veer Badani