Siohvaughn Funches, the ex-wife of Dwyane Wade, has dropped a lawsuit on the former NBA star over their transgender daughter Zaya Wade. She accused him of pressuring the 15-year-old to change her name and gender on her birth certificate.
The estranged wife claims that Wade is taking advantage of Zaya's transgender identity for money. Siohvaughn Funches has objected to the retired basketball star's petition for recognition of Zaya's gender change and the issuance of a new birth certificate.
Earlier this month, she filed a copy of the 2011 divorce decree, which supports her lawsuit. It states that Wade, a former player for Miami Heat, must accordingly consult with Funches before making any significant decisions regarding their children's lives.
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She alleged that Wade 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.
Funches expressed concerns that Wade may be pressuring Zaya to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies. "Dwyane Wade 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 and contracts associated therewith," she said in the court documents.
Wade had countered his ex-wife in a lengthy Instagram post in November 2022. He said it's a new way of parenting and he has to address the shameful allegations. "While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn's attempt to fire Zaya's identity and her unwavering attempt to drag my name through the mud, I'm very disappointed that she continuously find ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children."
Around two years ago, one of their children (now 15 years of age) went public that she was a transgender and would like to be treated as a woman. She called herself Sion Zaya Wade and changed her name with her father's support. Zaya has developed a modelling career and is an LGBTQ+ activist.
Wade has always been there for her. He posted on Instagram that "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!"
The NBA star highlighted that Funches is an absentee parent to Zaya, who was 12-years-old in 2020 when she went public with being transgender. He said Siohvaughn decided to be an absent parent to Zaya ALL ON HER OWN. "I will not sit on my hands this time and allow her to make a mockery of my dedication to my family."
Funches argued her objection saying that Zaya's transition has been highly publicized. "There will likely be media pressure on the minor children," the court filing says. "She asks that Zaya make this decision for herself when she is 'at the age of majority' in two and a half years." Wade had petitioned, back in August 2022, that he has full authority to request Zaya's legal name change without the consent of the mother.
Wade and Funches divorced in 2011, wherein the former Miami Heat all-star got sole custody of their two children Zaire and Zaya.