UPDATED 11/30, 12:30 a.m. ET: In new legal documents reviewed by TMZ, Dwyane Wade argues, “A court order affirming her identity will allow Zaya to live more comfortably and honestly in all aspects of her life—from simple introductions and food orders, to applying for a driver’s license and filling out college applications.”
Wade calls his ex Siohvaughn Funches-Wade’s objections to Zaya’s legal name and gender change “nonsensical” as well as libelous.
“This petition is about allowing Zaya to take on the milestones of being a young adult with confidence and joy,” he said.
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“Since this must be the new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegations here, which is a damn shame,” Wade said in an Instagram update shared Thursday. “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.”
This week, NBC News and others reported that Funches-Wade had filed an objection to daughter Zaya having her name legally changed. (In 2020, Zaya came out as trans.) In the filings, Funches-Wade purported that Wade “may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change” for financial gain.
When shutting this down in his statement on Thursday, Wade said that while he wasn’t “surprised” by this development, he was “disappointed” to see Funches-Wade again not taking the children into account.
“This report came out while Zaya was in class,” he said “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!”
According to Wade, efforts have been made on his end to introduce his ex-wife to Zaya’s friends, as well as her teachers and her therapist, so that she could “get her own understanding” of their daughter’s needs. Funches-Wade, he alleged, has declined to take these steps.
“Siohvaughn has decided to pretty much be an absent parent to Zaya ALL ON HER OWN,” he said Thursday, adding that he will not allow her to “make a mockery of my dedication to my family.”
Over the summer, Wade spoke out against the growing number of laws targeting transgender athletes in the U.S. while noting the importance of education.
“Why are we not educating ourselves?” Wade said during a discussion held as part of the TIME 100 Summit in New York in June. “Instead of trying to, you know, close the book on it.”