Dwyane Wade blasts ex-wife amid bitter legal battle over trans daughter Zaya

Zaya Wade, Gabrielle Union, Kaavia James Union Wade and Dwyane Wade pose at the premiere of Cheaper by the Dozen

Dwyane Wade is stepping up the legal battle to protect his trans daughter from his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, who reportedly wants to block her legal name and gender change.

According to TMZ, Wade has said in court documents that allowing his 15-year-old daughter Zaya to change her name and gender legally is in her “best interest”, after Funches-Wade reportedly filed an objection in November. 

The document from Wade reads: “A court order affirming her identity will allow Zaya to live more comfortably and honestly in all aspects of her life – from simple introductions and food orders, to applying for a driver’s license and filling out college applications.”

“This petition is about allowing Zaya to take on the milestones of being a young adult with confidence and joy.”

Funches-Wade’s consent was not required for the legal name and gender change, however, she was notified that the documents were filed in a Los Angeles county court. 

TMZ claimed Funches-Wade argued in court documents that the move should be barred, alleging that Wade “may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalise on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies.”

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Dwyane Wade’s attorneys replied that her allegations “are libellous at their core, and are, at best, nonsensical”, adding that “Dwyane filed this petition because Zaya asked him to”.

Zaya Wade with father Dwyane Wade and stepmother Gabrielle Union in 2020 (Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Zaya Wade came out as trans in 2020, and has been met with nothing but love and support from her family, which includes her stepmother Gabrielle Union.

But earlier this year, Dwyane Wade revealed that because of the level of anti-trans hate in the US, he fears for his daughter’s safety every time she leaves the house.

“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house,” he told CNN.

“And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”

But both Union and Wade trust and support Zaya to know herself, they said during a heartfelt interview on the Met Gala red carpet earlier this year.

“Being a father… is to make sure that you sit back and see what it is in life that they want to do and try to go there with them, and try to help them, mould them into who it is they want to be,” said Wade. 

Union added: “And we believe them when they tell us who they are!”

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