Dwyane Wade has submitted a petition to a Los Angeles County court to legally change the name and gender of his transgender daughter, Zaya Wade.
Because Zaya Wade is under 18 — she is 15 — her father has to make the request, notes celebrity news site The Blast, which viewed the court documents.
Dwyane Wade, a retired NBA star, and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, who is Zaya’s stepmother, have been consistently supportive of Zaya. “First of all, me and my wife, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Dwyane Wade told Ellen DeGeneres on the latter’s talk show in 2020. “We’re proud allies as well. We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”
This year, Union denounced Florida’s “don’t say gay” law restricting classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, along with the Walt Disney Co.’s weak and belated opposition to it — and the fact that Disney had donated to politicians who supported it.
“You can’t stand against hate and oppression and fund hate and oppression,” she said in March at the Los Angeles premiere of her film Cheaper by the Dozen. “That doesn’t work. Obviously, our family has a big spotlight. My child is one child. There are countless children who deserve peace and the ability to survive and thrive in this world, just like everybody else. And if you think that your kid isn’t next, you are so sadly mistaken.” Members of the family have appeared at LGBTQ+ events as well.
Siohvaughn Funches is Zaya’s biological mother, and Dwyane Wade mentioned her in the court petition. “Pursuant to the terms of the Final Custody Judgment, [Dwyane 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, according to The Blast.