Zaya Wade has been officially granted recognition of her legal identity.
On Friday, a Los Angeles County judge signed off on Dwayne Wade and wife Gabrielle Union’s petition to have the 15-year-old’s name and gender legally registered.
According to documents, her full name is Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.
via Page Six:
Zaya, whom Dwyane shares with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, came out as trans in February 2020.
The retired NBA star and Funches, who divorced in 2010 after eight years of marriage, had differing opinions on how to handle the matter.
The athlete, 41, has consistently advocated for Zaya’s right to “live more comfortably and honestly in all aspects of her life,” while Funches, also 41, has accused her ex of “pressuring” their child to “move forward” with a name and gender change “in order to capitalize on financial opportunities.”
Dwyane called the claims “nonsensical” in a November 2022 filing, adding, “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.”
He went on to explain how the requested amendments to Zaya’s identity would act in her “best interest … from simple introductions and food orders, to applying for a driver’s license and filling out college applications.”
But Funches — who used her daughter’s deadname of “Zion” in her opposition — claimed she wanted Zaya to wait to make the changes herself when she turned 18.
“I’m very disappointed that [Funches] continuously finds ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children,” the basketball player penned on social media in response.
He called his ex, with whom he also shares 21-year-old son Zaire, an “absent parent” who allegedly did not reach out to Zaya’s “teachers, doctors and therapist” about her purported concerns — claims Funches insisted were “completely untrue.”
Dwyane went on to write that he and wife Gabrielle Union, who are parents to 4-year-old daughter Kaavia, would never “force Zaya or any of [their] children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them.”
In his initial request, Dwyane noted he had “full authority” to proceed without Funches’ consent, as he’s had sole custody since 2011, but that she had been told as a “courtesy.”
He is also dad to 9-year-old son Xavier, whom he co-parents with Aja Metoyer.
Congrats to Zaya and her family! This is a big day!