Dwyane—who, in addition to sharing Zaya and son Zaire, 21, with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, shares son Xavier, 9, with Aja Metoyer and daughter Kaavia, 4, with Gabrielle—then reflected on being her parent, and what he strives to do with that title.
“As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself or direct your future,” he continued. “My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes and your dreams. I am proud that I was chosen to stand in place as your father.”
The athlete’s touching words came on the same day of news that Zaya was granted a legal gender and name change, per documents obtained by E! News. Prior to this official move, Dwyane petitioned the court on Zaya’s behalf in August 2022.
In November of that same year, Siohvaughn filed an objection asking the judge to deny Dwyane’s petition. As seen in the documents obtained by E! News, Siohvaughn asked that Zaya decide on legally changing her name and gender “at the age of majority.”
That same month, Dwyane filed a response to Siohvaughn, where he advocated for the official change further.
“This petition is about empowering Zaya to live her truth,” the court documents obtained by E! News Nov. 30 stated. “This petition is about allowing Zaya to take on the milestones of being a young adult with confidence and joy, and to ensure that those moments are not clouded by the self-doubt that comes from checking a box or signing a name that does not reflect her identity.”