Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade filed court papers Thursday requesting his biological male son, who identifies as transgender, be allowed to adopt a new, feminine name.
The former Miami Heat player requested a name change of Zion to Zaya for his child, 15, from the Los Angeles Superior Court, reported Spectrum News 1. Wade’s still unofficial petition states he has full authority to make decisions on his child’s behalf, but he notified the mother, his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, of the potential legal name change as a courtesy. Zaya will also be designated female in all legal documents moving forward, per the request.
In a 2020 appearance on The Ellen Show, Wade said his child had begun she/her pronouns and went by Zaya.
“Our [then-]12-year-old … came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys,'” and came out as transgender, Wade told host Ellen Degeneres.
“We’re just trying to figure out as much information as we can to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be (Zaya’s) best self,” Wade said.
A few days after the Ellen interview aired, Wade appeared on Good Morning America to share more about his child’s transition.
“(Zaya’s) known since (Zaya) was three years old,” he told anchor Robin Roberts in February 2020. “Along this way, we’ve asked questions and we’ve learned. But (Zaya’s) known.”
At the TIME100 Summit in June, Wade decried bills banning transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports as “a joke.”
Watch: @DwyaneWade speaks out against anti-trans laws, as he opens up about his daughter at the #TIME100 Summit https://t.co/q8SUg1ayK6 pic.twitter.com/SerwBQkOlr
— TIME (@TIME) June 7, 2022
“To me, it’s a joke. This is our life. We live this,” Wade said on stage. “When you’re out there making rules, and if you’re not experiencing this and you’re not living this, and you’re just out there signing away and making laws, that’s not right.”
Wade is also the father of son Zaire, 20, with Funches, son Xavier, eight, with reality TV personality Aja Metoyer, and daughter Kaavia, three, with actress Gabrielle Union, whom he wed in August 2014.
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