All eyes and ears were on Magic Johnson and his family earlier this year when his son, E.J. Johnson, catapulted into the limelight with the news that he’s gay and in a relationship. The world went on to watch E.J. stand proudly in his sexuality and Magic and Cookie Johnson stand even prouder behind their son as they showed a united effort to support and embrace him as is. Now, Johnson is recounting that unforgettable moment and explaining just how he felt when his son came out.
In a preveiew clip of an upcoming episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Johnson and his wife talk with Oprah Winfrey about realizing their son was gay and they explain that they knew years before he came out.
“Since he was so high he was wearing dresses and dancing around at 3 or 4 years old,” said Cookie. “So you kind of know something, but you think they’re going to grow out of it,” she says. “And then he really never did, but it’s OK because it’s your child. You love your child and you support your child no matter what they are, you know what I mean? And so we did all along.”
“And being a mom, I knew,” Cookie says. “So when that teenage time came around, I just pulled him aside and talked to him about it because I didn’t want him to feel bad about it. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to hide. And I didn’t want him to be insecure, especially around us. So I just talked to him and he felt so relieved.”
For Johnson, the feeling was mutual and he explains that he was just waiting for his son to tell ‘him that he was gay.
“I would say it was a shock in the beginning, but also I knew. I was just waiting on him to tell me, and he did,” Johnson said.
“E.J. is just a lovable guy,” Johnson added. “As I told him, I said, ‘E.J., I love you, so I’m going to support you no matter what.’ And I think it made him feel good — because it’s one thing with Mom. And it was another thing with me, because he wanted my approval. He wanted my support.”
To say their story is heartwarming would be an understatement. Kudos to the Johnsons on being standup parents and, thankfully, Johnson isn’t the only one in the sports world who has shown love for the LGBT community and is working to fight homophobia. Check out some other athletes who are LGBT allies below. –nicholas robinson