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Dwyane Wade Accused Of Exploiting Transgender Daughter For Financial Gain By His Ex-Wife

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Former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade has been accused of exploiting his transgender daughter Zaya, for financial gain according to his ex-wife.

Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife is fighting a legal petition to allow their daughter to change her gender and name, claiming the child is being pressured financially to make the decision.

According to legal documents, former NBA star Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, filed an objection to his petition for recognition of their daughter Zaya’s change of gender and issuance of a new birth certificate.

Wade’s daughter is transgender and is asking to legally be identified as a female. The issue is that she is only 15 years old and must get a court order and permission from her parents to make the change.

Siohvaughn claims her ex-husband is “attempting to circumvent the requirements” of the Illinois final custody order judgment entered on March 14, 2011. Siohvaughn says the former couple’s final custody order provides parental consultation and that Dwyane “shall discuss with and obtain input in the major decisions affecting care, welfare, activities, health, education and religious upbringing” of their two children prior to any major decisions being made.

Siohvaughn, who is represented by attorney Mark Gross, claims, “There are multiple factors to be considered by the Court in determining the requests to change the minor child’s name and gender. The minor child is fifteen and one-half years old.” Adding, Dwyane “is positioned to profit from the minor child’s name and gender change with various companies through contacts and marketing opportunities including but not limited to deals with Disney.”

“This matter has been highly reported in the media and there will likely be media pressure on the minor child,” she writes in the petition.

Siohvaughn clarified her position claiming it was Dwyane who told her directly that money was partially behind the decision. She writes, “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 explains, “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. (Dwyane) told me that he intended to make our child very famous due to the name and gender issue and also informed me that there would be endorsements/contracts associated therewith.”

Adding, “I inquired what companies had made deals, or was willing to make deals, with (Dwyane) regarding our child. Zion, who was present at the time, answered that various companies were interested and that Disney was a prospective company.”


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Dwyane’s ex-wife is objecting to the gender change and changes to Zaya’s birth certificate, asking the court to force them to wait until she’s 18 years old to make such an important decision.

The petition also states, “(Siohvaughn) contends that the minor child be given the opportunity at the age of maturity, which is two and one-half years away, to make this monumental decision for themselves. She has strong concerns that (Dwyane) may be pressuring or incentivizing the minor child with lucrative financial opportunities in order to proceed with this instant Petition.”

In the documents, Zaya’s mother touches on the subject that she might not fully be on board with an official and legal gender change. Siohvaughn claims she is “concerned that due to the high profile nature of this case if the minor child is not fully in support of the requested relief (and is being pressured by Dwyane or financial opportunities), the minor child will experience further scrutiny and pressure from the media.”

As previously reported by The Blast, Dwyane opened up about the situation and reasons behind filing the legal request, saying, “Our (then) 12-year-old came home … and said, “Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth and I want to be referenced as she and her and I would love for you guys to call me Zaya.”

He added, “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.”


Photo credit:  CHRIS DELMAS / Contributor  |  Getty Image

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Kimberly R. McClary

37-year-old Black female from Virginia.

Kimberly R. McClary has 392 posts and counting. See all posts by Kimberly R. McClary

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