NBA Superstar Dwyane Wade Petitions To Change Son’s Name And Gender

By Keith Allison: Flickr, e-mail, Twitter, Instagram, website -, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Former Miami Heat shooting guard Dwayne Wade petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court to change the name and gender of his eldest child last week. 

Wade, who is married to “Cheaper by the Dozen” star Gabrielle Union, filed papers with the court to change his transgender daughter’s name to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade, from her deadname Zion. 

He also asked that Zaya’s gender be officially changed from male to female, and noted that he informed his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches of the petition as a courtesy, but has full authority to make the switch without her input, as he is the custodial parent. 

Wade was granted full custody of both children that he shares with Funches, Zaya, 15, and Zaire, 20, in 2011. He said it was a “huge transition” to go from being the fun “weekend parent” to full-time father. 

“At first, it was like ‘I want custody,’ and I just had this emotional moment, and then I snapped back into [the fact] that I had so much to teach them and I had so much responsibility coming my way,” he told People in 2019.

“And I had to put so many people around them … I needed to find people that I trust to put around my kids because [of] my job and my career. It takes me away from being around [them].”

Wade indicated Zaya’s transition in 2019, when he posted an Instagram photo of Zaya, Union, and their daughter Kaavia, that was captioned “my girls.” When a Twitter user asked what people thought about the photo, Union clapped back, “Looks like love to me. I truly hope that everyone gets the love, support and hugs they deserve.” 

The former NBA star confirmed that Zaya was transitioning on a 2020 episode of “The Ellen Show.” He explained that Zaya asked to be called by her new name at 12-years-old. 

“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 her best self,” he added.

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