Dwyane Wade takes a big step to help her daughter be the real person

Dwyane Wade has been his daughter Zaya Wade’s biggest supporter since she announced she is transgender. As the proud father of The Ellen DeGeneres Show explained in 2020, Zaya was 12 when she came home and told him and stepmom Gabrielle Union that she identified as a girl.

As the former NBA star recalled, Zaya said, “I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth and I want to be called her and her. I’d be happy if you call me Zaya.” Her parents not only accepted that, but immediately began learning how to raise a transgender child, even reaching out to the Pose cast for help and advice. Dwyane reiterated the importance of being open and eager to learn in a November 2021 Instagram Live with TODAY, saying, “If there’s something I don’t know in this life, especially if it comes from my kids, then it’s my job to.” go and learn those things.” Part of that is asking questions and being open with Zaya, who he called “one of the greatest teachers of my life.”

However, it is not always easy. In June 2022, Dwyane told TIME 100 Summit that he was constantly worried about Zaya. “As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I still dread when she leaves the house,” he shared. “And not just because of gun violence, but because of the way people perceive it in this world.” He’s working to change that, and now he’s taken another big step to show his support.

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Dwyane Wade is very supportive of his daughter

During his appearance at the TIME 100 summit, Dwyane Wade criticized lawmakers who want to ban gender-affirming medical care that has barred transgender youth from playing sports and who support laws like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, according to TIME . He also urges lawmakers and everyone to learn what it really means to be LGBTQ+ before passing judgment. He reflected: “Come and live with my daughter for a day. Come and see what it’s like to walk through this world as her.”

And Wade doesn’t just talk the talk. As well as embarking on his own learning journey, the basketball star has taken another big step in supporting now 15-year-old Zaya Wade. According to The Blast, Wade has asked a Los Angeles County Court judge to officially recognize Zaya as a woman and legally change her name to Zaya Malachi Airami’s Wade. According to the court filing obtained by the outlet, the proud dad also revealed that while he had told his ex-wife and Zaya’s mother, Siohvaughn Funches, about the petition, he was under no legal obligation to seek her permission. “Per the terms of the final custody judgment [Wade] has full authority to make decisions on behalf of the requesting minor and is under no obligation to seek Ms Funches-Wade’s consent,” the document reads. The reason for the change is listed in the petition as “to conform to gender identity.” At the time of writing, Wade’s request is pending.