On Thursday, Dwyane Wade filed court documents to request that his transgender daughter have her name and gender legally changed.
According to reports, Wade is requesting that his daughter, born, Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, be able to change her name to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade legally.
Dwyane claims to have complete authority to make choices on his daughter’s behalf in the petition he filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court. His ex-wife and daughter’s mother, Siohvaughn Funches, was also aware of the legal proceedings.
In 2020, Dwyane said that his daughter started referring to herself as she/her during an appearance on The Ellen Show.
He recalled how Zaya, who was 12 then, had returned home and informed her family that she was interested in talking and requested that she be called Zaya rather than Zion.
“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,” Dwyane told Ellen.
Dwayne has expressed on several occasions that he worries about his daughter’s safety while she lives 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 said. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive her in this world.”
Zaya has also been open about her difficulties as a young transgender woman.
She recently told Blavity that she acknowledges that transphobia “still exists” and is “widely common.”
“There are genuinely people out there who think that you’re a kid, this is a phase, or you don’t actually know what you’re talking about,” she said. “I know that I’m trans, and it’s not like one day I just went, ‘I want to try out being trans.’ No. So just suck it up. We are who we are.”