Dwyane Wade Responds To Ex-Wife Objecting To Child’s Gender Change: ‘This Isn’t A Game’

Dwyane Wade
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Former NBA player Dwyane Wade just responded to his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade’s claims that he’s trying to make money off their transgender-identifying child Zaya’s “name and gender change.”

The 40-year-old basketball pro took to Instagram on Thursday to defend his parenting.

“Since this must be the new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegations here, which is a damn shame,” Wade wrote in the post. “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.”

“While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn’s attempt to fight 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,” he continued. 

“This report came out while Zaya was in class. 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.”

“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,” Wade shared in his statement. “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. She won’t do it.”

He later said, “Zaya is not that same 3 year child anymore and she’s screaming that to the world but most importantly to her Mother! 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.”

Funches-Wade and Wade were married from 2002 to 2010 and are the parents of 20-year-old son Zaire Wade and Zaya. The former NBA star also has an 8-year-old son Xavier with former partner Aja Metoyer and a 3-year-old daughter Kaavia with his current wife, actress Gabrielle Union. 

Wade’s response comes after Funches-Wade filed court documents to block Zaya from legally changing their name and gender before the age of 18.

“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,” the legal filing says, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

“(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,” Wade’s ex-wife also shared in the court documents. 

“I am concerned that our child is being commercialized at a young age and also of the uncontrollable consequences of media exposure i.e. cyberbullying, statements and/or pictures taken out of context of our child, and the unwanted spotlight focused on our child.”

Zaya, a biological male, came out as transgender in 2020, and Dwyane has been a considerable advocate ever since. He previously told People magazine that Zaya’s transition is an inspiration.

“When I look at Zaya, it gives me hope because I’m like, okay, we raised [our kids] to be authentic,” he said.

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