Magic Johnson is known for his NBA prowess, but we think his parenting is pretty magic too.
Johnson talked proudly to Ellen DeGeneres today on her show about his son, EJ, who’s gay. And the former NBA star offered some candid, excellently laid-back advice to other parents who have a gay child.
“I think it’s all about you not trying to decide what your daughter or son should be or what you want them to become. It’s all about loving them no matter who they are, what they decide to do,” Johnson said. “And when my son came out, I was so happy for him and happy for us as parents. We love him. EJ is amazing. So you got to support your child because there are so many people who try to discriminate against them, so they need you to support them. Because if you don’t support them, who is going to support them? And love them?”
*Slow, proud clap heard around the world*
When did EJ come out? Well, he was spotted back in 2013 holding hands with another man in Los Angeles. The tabloids predictably went nuts, but Johnson had nothing but love for his son. At the time he released a statement: “Cookie and I love EJ and support him in every way. We’re very proud of him.”
That month, EJ was happy to talk about his sexuality (you have to love it when the tabloids and paparazzi are looking to make a mess and wind up revealing sane, calm human beings full of love and good sense — take that, TMZ).
EJ — Earvin Johnson III, if you were wondering — said at the time on YouTube talk show Gwissues:
“I always wanted to come into the spotlight. I always had dreams and plans of doing my own thing and creating my own image, so it came a little sooner than I thought it would, but this is still something I knew I would be going through and would have to experience… I am very, very, very blessed to have the family that I do. My parents have always been super-supportive. My sister and I have always been really close and she’s been really supportive, as with my brother. When it was time to come out, I was obviously scared, as most people are. After I got all the love and support from my family, then I knew I could go out and conquer the world, I guess.”
Damn straight. Magic Johnson — retired since 1991 after his HIV-positive announcement — has got EJ’s back, no question. We’re thinking EJ’s got his dad’s back too.