Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union Say Zaya is Living Her 'Truth' After Court Grants Her Name Change (Exclusive)

On Friday, the court ruled to grant Wade's 15-year-old daughter Zaya an official name and gender change.

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union's 15-year-old daughter, Zaya, is celebrating living her "truth." On Friday, a Los Angeles judge granted their teen her official name and gender change. In the court doc obtained by ET, Zaya's name is officially Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade. In addition, the judge ruled that her sex markers on documents would match her gender identity.

The legal change comes months after Wade's ex-wife and Zaya's mother, Siohvaughn Funches, filed an objection to the court filings. 

"Last night she was so happy and we were just like *sings* 'Say my name, say my name, 'cause to some people it just feels like paperwork but to her it's it's her truth and it's her reality and we support that," Union told ET's Kevin Frazier during the 54 annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday. "Being in her orbit you wanna catch up, you wanna keep up. I mean her first choice for college is MIT. This is not a dim bulb here, she's incredibly smart, incredibly bright and a phenomenal leader. I'm just happy for her that she gets to be exactly who she is and we're really happy about her Puma campaign."

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When asked about supporting their daughter -- who came out as transgender in 2020 -- Union noted that it's "not hard to love your kid," and that other people's perception of their family is not their concern.

"I think someone else's opinions of us are none of our business," she said. "I think there's a lot of hurt people out there and a lot of scared people out there who project their hurt and fears, unfortunate childhood trauma onto other people. I think that's what we're seeing across the board so I pray for those people while we celebrate ours."

Wade added, "I mean we understand, as my wife said, what's going on in our world, what's the temperature in our world. When it comes to the transgender community, Black transgender community. Even though we wish our 15-year-old daughter could just be and just go under the radar, her calling is bigger. So we're gonna use this opportunity to continue to keep speaking, continue to keep supporting -- until we get change."

When asked about his teenage daughter using her voice to change the world at such a young age, the former NBA champion couldn't be more proud.

"When you hear it like that it's heavy," Wade told ET. "It's so much. She's a 15-year-old girl who just wants to be a 15-year-old and I think in the midst of it, we understand that you know responsibility is great. We're gonna try until she gets that microphone and she can show the world who Zaya is. We're gonna continue to try to lead the way Zaya would want us to lead with our voices, with our eyes and with our ears."

Union and Wade are also parents of Kaavia, 4. Wade shares son, Zaire, 20, with Funches, and is also the father of 8-year-old Xavier from a previous relationship.

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During Saturday night's ceremony, Union and Wade were honored with the President's Award for their continued advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community. In their speech, the A-list couple dedicated it to their daughter.

"I want to take this moment to publicly speak to our daughter Zaya. Zaya, as your father, all I've wanted to do is get it right. I have sat back and watched how gracefully you've taken on the public scrutiny. And even though it's not easy, I've watched you walk out of the house every morning as yourself," he said.

"I admire how you've handled the ignorance in our world. To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement," he continued. "Thank you for showing me that there is more than just one way to communicate you've taught me that communicating with my mouth isn't enough. I have to communicate with my ears and my two eyes. As your father, my job isn't to create a version of myself or direct your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your wishes, your hopes, and your dreams. Zaya you've made me a better human by simply being who you were born to be: our baby girl, Zaya Wade. Thank you for showing the world what courage looks like. I am proud that I was chosen to stand in place as your father."



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