Dwayne Wade Files To Legally Change Gender, Name Of Transgender Daughter

Zaya Wade Credits Stepmom Gabrielle Union For Lessons On Beauty And Self-Love

Home / Smart News / Zaya Wade Credits Stepmom Gabrielle Union For Lessons On Beauty And Self-Love

By Afouda Bamidele on March 17, 2023 at 2:45 PM EDT

Zaya Wade is feeling lucky to have Gabrielle Union as her biggest cheerleader.  

The 15-year-old daughter to former NBA star Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches had since found her most potent allies in her father and stepmom, Union, when she publicly came out as trans in 2019 at the age of 12.

The couple has been vocal in their unwavering support for their daughter since she started living in her truth, and Zaya recognizes their genuine efforts and loyalty. It is no wonder she spoke highly of her family support during her first-ever magazine cover with DAZED.

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Zaya Wade Says Gabrielle Union Helped Her During Transition

On March 15th, the fashionista appeared on the cover of the latest Dazed issue, opening up about the inspiring life lessons she got from the "Bring It On" actress on her journey to self-acceptance. The teenager said:

"The lesson has changed over time, but more recently, it's that beauty is in yourself. It's about being you and expressing yourself the way you want to. She tries to teach me that beauty standards are arbitrary and that they don't mean anything."

Zaya then mentioned what she had gathered so far regarding standards and self-acceptance. In her words, "They don't matter anymore; what people thought was the standard is not. And just that being myself is the best technique out there."

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Zaya Wade Credits Stepmom Gabrielle Union For Lessons On Beauty And Self-Love
Instagram | Gabrielle Union
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In the conversation, the model shared rare insights on her relationship with fashion and identity, her family's support, and being a trans youth. The 15-year-old also acknowledged big changes in her life but sees furthering her family's "education and appreciation" of the LGBTQ+ community as an honor, not a job. She then added:

"As our understanding of acceptance has broadened over the past couple of years, we have made the strides to keep ourselves educated and combat the ignorance."

Before this interview, Union and Dwyane jetted off to Paris Fashion Week to support their brave daughter's runway debut earlier this month. The Blast noted that duo cheered her as she walked the runway at the Miu Miu's fall/winter 2023 show.

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Captioned, "She's arrived," the doting father shared a video that showed Zaya in an earthy green sweater outfit by Miu Miu. She paired the dress with a matching jacket-like cardigan, coffee-colored purse, and polished brown heels. Her box braid was styled in a low bun while rocking a soft glam.

The video also showed the supportive parents, who sat in front-row seats in all-black ensembles while Zaya fabulously walked the runway. In the end, the wholesome family embraced themselves.

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Compliments flooded the comment section, with one follower saying, "Fashion's Next Supreme!!! So excited for her!!! Thank you for loving your baby out loud, Dwyane & Gabby!" Another fan remarked, "beautiful moment, perfect debut ???." Viola Davis, Gigi Hadid, and Pat Mcgrathreal came through with heartwarming emojis and remarks

Zaya Wade Was Granted A Legal Name And Gender Change

Zaya Wade Credits Stepmom Gabrielle Union For Lessons On Beauty And Self-Love
Instagram | Zaya Wade

Union's inspiring message to Zaya is particularly heartwarming, considering her birth contested the legal petition made by her father to allow for a change of name and gender officially. 

Last November, Siohvaughn filed a petition that countered the initial request of her ex-partner. She was not supportive of the name and gender change for her daughter, claiming that Zaya was being pressured by the adults in her life for financial benefits.

Siohvaughn, who has no custodial right over her two children, argued based on parental consultation, saying that Dwyane "shall discuss with and obtain input in the major decisions affecting care, welfare, activities, health, education, and religious upbringing" of their children before any significant life-changing decisions.

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However, a court finally approved the name and gender change last month. The court's documents obtained by The Blast detailed, "The Petition for Recognition of Minor's Change of Gender and Issuance of New Birth Certificate filed by Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, by and through gal, Dwyane T. Wade, Jr. on 08/22/2022 is Granted in Part."

The statement continued, "Decree is signed and filed. The Petitioner's name is changed from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade is changed to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade. The gender of the Petitioner is changed from male to female." According to the court document, Zaya will be issued a new birth certificate with her new name and gender.

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