June 30, 2022

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Magic Johnson on Studying to Settle for His Homosexual Son EJ: ‘He Modified Me’

It was 2010 and scarves have been all the fad. “Very European,” says EJ Johnson, son of Magic Johnson, as he remembers when he got here out as homosexual to his father. “Even in the summertime, you had your linen scarves. It was the look. And naturally, I used to be rocking the scarves, as a result of it was sizzling. And he simply couldn’t stand it. ”

In a brand new interview with Selection Forward of the April 22 launch of “They Name Me Magic,” an Apple TV Plus documentary collection that covers his life and profession, Johnson revealed he initially struggled to return to phrases together with his son’s sexual orientation .

“While you develop up in crew sports activities, you assume, ‘Is he going to play sports activities? ‘” Johnson mentioned. “After which after I noticed he appreciated dolls and enjoying costume up… ‘What are you doing?’”

“I used to be out with all my mates,” says EJ, who’s now 29. “[My parents] have been the final individuals I actually needed to inform. It wasn’t new to me, however they actually needed to assimilate and digest it. Particularly my dad, as a result of he actually was the final particular person to speak to. I feel that was only a lot for him to swallow in that dialog. Numerous forwards and backwards. And he was simply speaking about issues that weren’t notably nice. However he’s not somebody who works very properly being caught or stunned.

“He had made up silly guidelines: ‘No scarves in the home’,” continues EJ. “Nevertheless it’s actually not about scarves; it’s actually about him seeing you being you.

Tensions have been excessive on the Johnsons’ Beverly Hills dwelling. For EJ, 17 on the time, these have been his final months together with his household earlier than leaving for newfound independence at NYU. However quickly after, Johnson visited her in New York and the 2 mended their relationship.

“I had solely been gone two months,” says EJ. “He picked me up from my dorm and I used to be like, ‘Oh no matter, hey. And he hugged me so tight – he was, like, pushing all of the air out of me. That’s after I knew there was nothing however love right here.

In 2013, after TMZ posted pictures of EJ in a black boa holding fingers with a male buddy, he determined to return out publicly. Now, followers of the LGBTQ neighborhood often attain out to EJ and his dad and mom — Magic and his mom Cookie — to specific their gratitude for the way the household has embraced the neighborhood, in addition to Johnson’s HIV/AIDS activism.

Cookie recollects, “I bear in mind a younger man got here to me at some point and mentioned, ‘I actually need to thanks and your husband for what you do. I’m homosexual, however I didn’t need to inform my dad and mom. After I went to school, I had [HIV]. However with you guys speaking about it, bringing it to everybody’s consideration, it made me really feel prefer it’s going to be okay, and I’m going to struggle tougher.’”

However not everybody was so tolerant. “You additionally get the opposite facet,” Johnson says. “Lots of people don’t like that I like my son.”

Nonetheless, that doesn’t matter to Johnson. “He modified me,” Johnson says of EJ. “He was so proud. This man right here is so pleased with who he’s.

“As I bought older, whereas my spouse was speaking to me, I couldn’t [judge EJ]. I needed to settle for who he was and who he wished to be. In reality, he helped me get there. As a result of he was so proud. Cookie mentioned, “Have a look at your self within the mirror.” I mentioned, ‘You’re proper.’ As a result of I’m pleased with who I’m. And he bought it from me.