Making It Official

Dwyane Wade has officially requested a name change for his daughter, Zaya, with the courts. The former NBA player filed paperwork in Los Angeles on Thursday (Aug. 18).


According to Spectrum News,

“Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade Thursday filed court papers asking that his 15-year-old transgender daughter be allowed to change her name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.

Wade’s still unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court petition states that he has full authority to make decisions on his daughter’s behalf and that he notified his former wife, Siohvaughn Funches — the girl’s mother — of the legal action as a courtesy.”

Dwyane Wade was awarded sole care custody and control of Zaya and her brother, Zaire, in 2011. A Chicago court granted the star athlete such control after successfully proving that the kids’ biological mother, Siohvaughn Funches, was unstable. Siohvaughn later told the press that she believed Dwyane’s status as a celebrity heavily influenced the decision. Dwyane, however, praied the outcome.

“My life changed in a huge way,” Wade shared with the press. “Mentally, I’ve been preparing for it for over a year now,” he said at the time. “To me, it’s bigger than that. For me, it shows a lot of people that you need to fight to be in your kids’ lives sometimes. You fight until you can’t fight anymore. That’s all I was trying to be, a father in his kids’ lives.”

Zaya Wade came out as part of the LGBTQ+ community in 2019. The youngster has received criticism for choosing to live authentically with some going so far as to scrutinize her father’s parenting skills.

“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,” Dwyane shared during a recent interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow at the TIME 100 Summit in New York City. “And not just because of gun violence,” Wade continued. “But because of the way people perceive her in this world.”

Zaya Wade has gone by her new moniker for more than a year. Dwyane Wade filing paperwork to make things official, however, marks a significant step in his daughter’s journey.

Photo: Getty Images



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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