Ex-NBA star Dwyane Wade’s son, born Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, has legally changed his first name to Zaya in an L.A. court on Friday and is now officially a “female,” even in the face of opposition over the move from his birth mother.
The teen, who has gone by Zaya since 2020 and wants to be seen as a girl, also won permission from the Los Angeles Superior Court to change gender markers on official documents, according to People.
Wade’s son first came out as transgender in 2020 and made his first appearance as a transgender girl in March of that year.
That “re-introduction” came a month after the couple went public to proudly support the boy, who decided to be known as a girl named Zaya going forward.
“Me and my wife, my wife Gabrielle Union…we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well,” Wade told Ellen DeGeneres in February. “We take our roles and responsibility as parents very seriously.”
“Zion, born as a boy, came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I am ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as ‘she’ and ‘her.’ I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,’” Wade added.
However, Zaya’s biological mother, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, not only opposes the gender transition, she accused Wade of hyping the child’s gender confusion and using it for personal publicity. She also filed a lawsuit against Wade and his current wife, actress Gabrielle Union.
In her court filing, Funches-Wade, 41, alleged that Wade is only indulging the teen’s transgender wishes because there is a lot of money to be made from endorsement deals.
Funches-Wade pointed out that Wade “is positioned to profit from the minor child’s name and gender change with various companies through contacts and marketing opportunities including but not limited to deals with Disney.”
“I have concerns that [Wade] 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,” she stated.
Funches-Wade also said that Wade has admitted to her that he is set to rake in cash on their minor child’s gender confusion.
“[Wade] 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,” she said.
For his part, Wade disputes his ex-wife’s claims and says that he is not only the primary caregiver for the 15-year-old but that Funches-Wade has been an absentee parent who has not kept a presence in her child’s life.
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