Dwyane Wade forced trans daughter Zaya, 15, to officially change name and gender, claims ex-wife

Siohvaughn Funches-Wade was responding to ex Dwyane Wade’s petition in August allowing Zaya to legally change her name from Zion to Zaya

Dwyane Wade forced trans daughter Zaya, 15, to officially change name and gender, claims ex-wife
Dwyane Wade accused of financially exploiting trans daughter Zaya Wade, 15, by ex Siohvaughn Funches-Wade (Rich Fury/Getty Images, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade/Instagram)
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MIAMI, FLORIDA: Basketball legend Dwyane Wade has been accused by his ex-wife of exploiting their teen transgender daughter for financial benefits. Siohvaughn Funches-Wade has recently filed papers in court to intervene and stop their daughter Zaya Wade, 15, from going ahead with legal name and gender change before she turns 18. The 41-year-old mother alleged that Wade is pressurizing Zion, now known as Zaya, into changing her identity permanently and will be "gaining a lot of profit" as an outcome.

“I have concerns 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 from companies,” Dwyane Wade’s first wife with whom he shares his two eldest children claimed. She was responding to the former NBA star’s petition in August allowing Zaya to legally change her name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade, reported The Blast.

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As per the August petition, Wade reportedly claimed to the court that he has the legal right to go ahead with the decision on her minor daughter’s behalf and that he is merely "informing" his ex-wife as nothing, but for "courtesy." Wade had won full custody of the boys in 2011, after splitting with Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, reported the Daily Mail. She had expressed her pain at losing the custody in a 2012 interview with the Daily Mail, in a court battle that went on for four years. "I think influence had a lot to do with it. Celebrity had a lot to do with it. Money had a lot to do with it," she had alleged.

On Zaya’s official name and gender change, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade claims, “(Dwyane) told me that he intended to make our child very famous due to the name and gender issue and also informed me that there would be endorsements/contracts associated therewith. “I am concerned that our child is being commercialized at a young age and also of the uncontrollable consequences of media exposure i.e. cyberbullying, statements and/or pictures taken out of context of our child, and the unwanted spotlight focused on our child,” she adds.

As per the report, since she came as transgender in 2019 at age 12, both Wade and her wife Gabrielle Union, had referred to her as Zaya. In a 2019 interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Wade said, “Our (then) 12-year-old came home...and said, 'Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I'm ready to live my truth and I want to be referenced as she and her and I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.’”

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Zaya has racked up hundreds of thousands of social media followers and modelling contracts with companies like Tiffany and Dove since coming out. Her mother claims that she is also in talks for deals with Disney.

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