Who Is Zaya Wade? Everything about Dwyane Wade’s Transgender Daughter

Edduin Carvajal
Jun 09, 2022
05:50 P.M.

Former NBA star Dwyane Wade made headlines in his heyday, but his daughter, Zaya Wade, has never ceased to attract people's attention after coming out as transgender.


Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade confessed to being afraid for the safety of his transgender daughter, Zaya Wade, especially after Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and more states implemented anti-trans sports laws.

Although Zaya's family supports her at home, Dwyane is afraid every time she leaves home because of how people perceive her. He encouraged lawmakers to learn how to walk through the world as transgender before making laws.

Dwyane Wade on February 22, 2020 in Miami, Florida | Source: Getty Images

Dwyane Wade on February 22, 2020 in Miami, Florida | Source: Getty Images


Dwyane is worried about the safety of the rest of his children, as gun violence is also an issue in American society. The three-time NBA champion has four children from three different relationships.


His oldest son is Zaire Wade, born on February 4, 2002, to his first wife, Siohvaughn Funches. Zaire is the only member of the Wade family trying to become a professional basketball player.

Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade and Gabrielle Union on March 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade and Gabrielle Union on March 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

After graduating high school, Zaire decided against playing college basketball. Instead, he took a postgraduate year at Brewster Academy, a private boarding school in New Hampshire famous for producing multiple NBA players, including Donovan Mitchell.

Dwyane and Funches also welcomed Zaya (more about her later). The former couple separated later that year, and they divorced in 2010.

The retired NBA player had a short relationship with Aja Metoyer and welcomed his son Xavier on November 10, 2013. Dwyane and Metoyer conceived Xavier during a brief split between him and his current partner, Gabrielle Union.


Dwyane admitted that telling Union he had a child with another woman was the hardest thing he'd done. Luckily, Gabrielle forgave Dwyane, married him in August 2014, and accepted Xavier and the rest of his kids into her life.


On November 7, 2018, Dwyane and Gabrielle welcomed Kaavia James Union Wade, who makes hilarious cameos on her parents' social media accounts. Dwyane also has custody of his nephew, Dahveon Morris.

Unfortunately, not everyone supported Zaya during her transition.



Zaya, born on May 29, 2007, told her parents she was gay at eight years old. The Wades didn't share the news with the public because they were concerned about the negative response she would have gotten.

Things were different when Zaya came out as a trans girl at 12. Dwyane wanted Zaya to live as her true self, so she and her family publicly opened up about her gender identity in February 2020.

After coming out publicly, Zaya became one of the most prominent young members of the LGBTQ+ community. Besides interviewing former FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Zaya was recognized as one of The Advocates' Women of the Year and The Root's Young Futurists.



Unfortunately, not everyone supported Zaya during her transition. In January 2022, she honored Kobe Bryant and his late daughter, Gianna, by wearing a No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey that extended into a dress with frills.

Former NBA player Kwame Brown said it was disrespectful, and multiple people wrote on social media that Dwyane was a terrible parent. Luckily, Zaya got support from many more people, including Bryant's daughter Natalia. Keep it up, Zaya!

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