Zaya Wades Mother Pleads With The Court To Stop Father From Changing Her Gender and Name Until 18

Zaya Wade has always had her father’s full support. Since the day she came out as trans, the teen has been allowed to be her full self and share it freely with the world. While many appreciate the Wade family and their commitment to Zaya, not everyone is a fan of her transition at such a young age. Despite announcements that she would be moving forward with changing her gender and name legally with the full backing of her father, it appears her mother is not on board.

Zaya Wade was born Zion Malachi Airamis Wade on May 29, 2007, to father Dwyane Wade and mother Siohvaughn Funches. She was assigned male at birth and came out as trans at 11 years old after initially believing she might just be a gay boy. Since coming forward with her truth, Zaya has become a public figure with her own platform and voice. The teen has also faced a ton of trolling, along with her father Dwayne Wade who’s been called out by many celebrities who do not agree with the way his raising his child. Many fans have also placed blame on Gabrielle Union, who they accuse of leading the entire situation.

The now 15-year-old teen is well respected, loved, and uplifted by the queer community, who often hire her for speaking engagements, campaigns, and more. She modeled a dress based on Kobe Bryant’s jersey earlier this year for the fashion line Gypsy Sport in honor of the late player’s anniversary. Zaya also went viral for her Tiffany & Co. campaign, which featured her in long hair and soft makeup.

Back in August, it was announced that Zaya’s father, Dwyane Wade, had petitioned to legally change her name and gender. At the time, it was reported that he did not need her biological mother’s permission because he has sole custody of Zaya. Fans may recall that Siohvaughn spiraled after she and Dwyane’s split and became unfit for the kids, with Wade sighting mental illness and lack of income as reasons why she should not be allowed to raise their children alone. The court ruled in his favor, stating that Siohvaughn had “alienated the children” and “lacked the ability or willingness to facilitate” a relationship with them.

As a result, Wade was able to file the petition alone to help his daughter solidify her chosen name and gender. This was not without backlash, however, as people still argued that they felt the decision was too early for Zaya, who could potentially change her mind. “I think permanent decisions should not be made for a child who is still finding themself. That’s just me, though,” said one person. Another defended the family, saying, “Before yall comment something crazy, ask yourself… ‘is this, my child.’ No? Ok, then keep scrolling.”

Siohvaughn feels that Zaya is too young for such a choice and has urged the judges to reconsider the petition and revisit it when the child is 18 years old. In her official response to the request, Siohvaughn expresses concerns over Dwyane and Gabrielle Union’s intentions by encouraging Zaya to make her transition official. ‘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 said in her legal filing. Zaya has benefitted from modeling campaigns and sponsored social media posts.

The judge has not ruled on Siohvaughn’s request yet, but we’ll keep you posted as this story develops. Nor Dwayne Wade or Gabrielle Union have spoken out regarding Siohvaughn’s claims.

About John Davidson

John Davidson is a California native who enjoys hip hop music, skiing and traveling international. Davidson graduated from USC majoring in Journalism.

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