Dwyane Wade is going above and beyond for his daughter, Zaya.
The retired NBA player filed court papers Thursday, petitioning for his transgender daughter to be allowed to officially change her name and gender. According to Spectrum News, Wade is petitioning for his daughter to be allowed to permanently change her name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.
The Los Angeles Superior Court petition filed by Dwyane states that he has full authority to make decisions on his daughter’s behalf. He has also notified his former wife and daughter’s mother, Siohvaughn Funches, of the legal action.
Zaya Wade came out as a girl three years ago when she asked her parents, Wade and actress Gabrielle Union, to call her by her new name. Wade told Ellen DeGeneres in 2020: “Our then-12-year-old came home and said, ‘Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. You know, I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth and I want to be referred to as she and her, and I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.”
Since then, Dwyane has admitted that he fears for his daughter’s safety living as a transgender woman.
“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 told CNN at the TIME100 Summit earlier this year. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”
Wade filed for sole custody of his two kids with estranged wife and high school sweetheart Siohvaughn in 2007, alleging she exhibited threatening behavior, had affairs, and used abusive parenting methods.
Wade and actress Union married in August 2014.