NBA star Dwayne Wade plans to do everything in her power so that her daughter can live “sincerely in all areas of her life” according to her authentic gender identity. Last August, he filed a request as guardian of the 15-year-old girl so that she can legally change her name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade, but the girl’s mother took legal action to try to stop him, at least until she turns 18.
However, Dwyane does not plan to allow his former wife to alter Zaya’s plans because he is convinced that legally changing her gender is in her daughter’s best interest before she has to face administrative processes such as applying for a driver’s license or filling out applications to attend university.
“This request is about allowing Zaya to assume the milestones of being a young adult with confidence and joy,” she said Monday in a series of documents filed with the judge to respond to her ex.
While Dwyane acknowledges that it would have been preferable for Zaya’s mother to support her in this important part of her personal journey, she does not intend to allow him to force her to “put her life on hold” until she accepts the situation. He has also stressed that his ex had not been involved until now in the education or medical care that his daughter receives in common, so he does not understand why he intends to do it now.
Siohvaughn, for her part, continues to refer to Zaya using masculine pronouns and her old name because she fears she is being pressured by her father to go ahead with the name and gender change. Her other fear is that Dwyane is not acting solely with the teenager’s well-being in mind because she is in a position to benefit financially from the media attention she has received since presenting herself to the world as a young trans woman.
Zaya does have the full support of actress Gabrielle Union, his father’s current wife, who has a young daughter with the former basketball player and also helps him educate his other two children and nephew.