Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade has filed a legal petition to officially change his transgender daughter’s gender and name. As reported by How Africa, Wade’s daughter, Zaya, came out to the world when she was just 12. And her dad and stepmom, Gabrielle Union-Wade, together with the rest of the family, have been by her side.
According to The Blast, the former Miami Heat player filed the petition at a Los Angeles County Court. Wade, in the legal documents, is asking a judge to formalize his 15-year-old daughter’s transition and also change her name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.
The 40-year-old father of four filed the petition on behalf of his daughter because she’s yet to turn 18. Wade, in the filing, also made mention of Zaya’s mother and explained he’s not required to seek her consent when it comes to making decisions on behalf of their daughter.
“Pursuant to the terms of the Final Custody Judgment, (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 stated.
The filing also explains that the motive behind the change is “to conform with gender identity.”
Wade has been very open and supportive about his daughter’s transition. In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2020, he opened up about his daughter coming out.
“Zaya came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her. I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” he said.
“So internally it’s our job to one, go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife [Gabrielle Union] reached out to everyone on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self.”