Dwyane Wade has responded to ex-wife Siovaughn Funches-Wade's attempt to prevent their transgender daughter from legally changing her name and gender.
Earlier this week, Funches-Wade filed a petition in the Superior Court of California objecting to the retired NBA star's August petition to legally change their daughter Zaya's name. Funches-Wade alleges that Wade might be pressuring the 15-year-old to change her name and gender for profit.
"I have concerns that [Dwyane] may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies," she claims in the petition.
Wade has been unfailingly supportive of Zaya since first speaking about her coming out as transgender on a 2020 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, responded in a blistering Instagram post.
"While I'm on a life-changing trip in our motherland, Africa, I've received a social media post about me forcing our 15-year-old child to be someone she's not and to do something against her will. These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children," he wrote.
"While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn's attempt to fight Zaya's identity and her unwavering attempt to drag my name through the mud, I'm very disappointed that she continuously finds ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children. This report came out while Zaya was in class. This is a kid who has maintained a 4.0 GPA in honors classes while navigating all this unsolicited and harmful attention and debates about her gender and sexuality from those who are committed to not listening to her, much less even knowing her!"
Wade goes on to allege that Funches-Wade has spent more time consulting lawyers than with Zaya herself. "I've given her the opportunity to reach out to Zaya's teachers, doctors and therapist of the years and even meet her friends, so she could get her own understanding of our child's needs for her LIFE! She won't do it!" he writes "Zaya has given her every opportunity to try to get to know her. She won't do it!"
""No one in our house would ever force Zaya or any of our children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them. This isn't a game for my family and definitely not for Zaya," Wade wrote of his ex-wife's claims. "Siohvaughn has decided to pretty much be an absent parent to Zaya ALL ON HER OWN."
Dwyane's statement arrived after Siohvaughn filed an objection to his petition to recognize Zaya's gender and to issue a new birth certificate. In a petition obtained by The Blast, she argued, "There are multiple factors to be considered by the Court in determining the requests to change the minor child's name and gender." She added, "The minor child is fifteen and one-half years old."
"This matter has been highly reported in the media and there will likely be media pressure on the minor child," she added. "I have concerns that (Dwyane) may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies."
She claimed that Dwyane told her about how profitable Zaya's identity is. "In April 2022, [Dwyane] invited me to one of his residences in Atlanta, Georgia. During this occasion, [he] informed me that a lot of money had been already made and that additional money will be made in relation to our child's name and gender issue," she explained.