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In a move that wildly insults Dwyane Wade‘s stance as a proud parent and LGBTQ+ ally, his ex-wife is doubling down on her claim that he’s supporting Zaya Wade‘s request for a legal name and gender change for financial gain. Not because he’s been adamant for years about doing everything in his power to help Zaya “be her best self,” but because the 3x NBA champion who’s married to an extremely successful actress, author, and brand owner needs to use his kid’s identity as a transgender teen to rake in some much-needed cash. Allegedly.
Zaya’s mother, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, made a statement to Page Six following Dwyane’s heated Instagram post aimed at her yesterday. She alleged that “countless full-grown famous adults” have suffered “severe consequences” resulting from “public pressure and scrutiny,” adding, “I have both the mandate and privilege of protecting my children from these tragic events, well as the myriad of other negative things that have a tendency to impact those living in the limelight, but time will fail me to mention them all.”
The mother of two continued, “I’m by no means a perfect parent but I love my children with perfect unconditional love. I will also continue to do what the laws of this land allow me to do as a parent with the parental right and power under the constitution in courts of law and not the court of public opinion.”
In her filing objecting to Dwyane’s name and gender change petition on behalf of 15-year-old Zaya, Siohvaughn claimed she has “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.” In response to his allegations against her yesterday, Siohvaughn said her ex-husband’s “derogatory” claims are “completely untrue.”
She said of Zaya and her elder son Zaire, 20, “They, too, like many other children, have experienced the excruciating pain and unique challenges that children suffer when their parents are divorced. I will not add to that pain by now responding publicly with malicious, or hate-filled, comments to Dwyane, despite his decision to say these harmful untruths about me, and despite the fact that I never went to the media or public about these sensitive private family matters affecting our minor child.”
Dwyane previously expressed his frustration with Siohvaughn’s filing, writing in his own statement, “I’ve given her the opportunity to reach out to Zaya’s teachers, doctors and therapist over 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! She has not been to a school, recital, graduation, school dance, play date, practice, parent-teacher conference etc. and Zaya has given her every opportunity to try to get to know her.”
He continued, “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. This is her life!” Dwyane concluded, “I will not sit on my hands this time and allow [Siohvaughn] to make a mockery of my dedication to my family. The high road has run out of real estate.”
The father of four first spoke publicly about Zaya identifying as trans in 2020 on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Shortly after, he told Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, “[Zaya has] known [she identifies as female] for nine years. She’s known since she was 3 years old. Along this way, we’ve asked questions and we’ve learned. But she’s known.”
For Zaya’s sake, we hope her parents’ public squabble ends here and that the courts handle the matter privately from here on out. We also hope her mother will come to terms with the fact that her daughter has known who she is since she was a toddler, and waiting three more years to have her identity legally and physically correspond with who she is internally when she’s already waited 12 years and faced public commentary for the past two…
Forcing Zaya to continue to wait will only strain their mother-daughter relationship further. Zaya and Dwyane know who Zaya is, no matter how much Siohvaughn believes otherwise, and it’s grossly insulting to them both to claim the petition comes down to nothing more than capitalistic gains. As Dwyane said, this is about Zaya’s life, and if this is what she’s known she’s wanted for over a decade, her mother should stand tall by her side, not advocate against her in the name of “protecting” her.
These celeb parents are so proud of their LGBTQ kids.
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