Magic Johnson Says Son EJ Coming Out As Gay ‘Changed’ Him: ‘He Was Just So Proud’

Magic johnson son coming out as gay.

Earvin “EJ” Johnson, the son of basketball superstar Magic Johnson, is talking about what it was like to come out as gay to his famous father back in 2010.

EJ, who starred on the E! reality series The Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, opened up to Variety about how it was initially hard for Magic to accept his sexuality.

While EJ, who is also the son of Magic’s wife Cookie Johnson, said he was out to all of his friends, but that his parents were “the last people” he spoke to about it.

“It wasn’t new for me, but they had to really take that in and digest it,” EJ explained. “Especially my dad, because he was really the last person to talk to.

I think it was just a lot for him to swallow in that conversation. A lot of just going back and forth. And he just was rattling off about things that weren’t particularly nice. But he’s not somebody who works great being cornered or surprised.”

Initially, EJ said that Magic had created certain rules for how he could dress — such as saying that he was not allowed to bring scarves, a piece of his signature style, into his house.

However, when Magic went to visit EJ in college at New York University in 2013, it seemed that he had changed his attitude. EJ was outed by TMZ that same year, when the site published a paparazzi photo of him holding hands with a male friend.

“I had only been gone for two months,” EJ said of the time of that visit from his father. “He picked me up at my dorm and I was like, ‘Oh, whatever, hey.’ And he hugged me so hard — he was, like, squeezing all the air out of me. That’s when I knew, there’s nothing but love here.”

Magic told Variety of his son, “He changed me. He was so proud. This dude here is just so proud of who he is.”

EJ has previously spoken about this moment in a 2018 Red Table Talk episode with Jada Pinkett Smith.

“[He] just was like, we’re gonna get through this, I just need time and we both just started crying a little bit,” EJ said.

“But then, I moved to New York to go to college and when he came back to visit, he picked me up for dinner and was like … he hugged me so hard, he almost broke my back and then at that point I was like, we’re gonna be okay. I could really feel the love. We’re gonna be fine.”

The former NBA player, who became an activist for HIV/AIDS research after he publicly announced his HIV positive status in 1991, spoke to The New York Times in 2020 about how he initially thought it might be hard for EJ given the stigma around g’ay m’en and H’IV.

“As a parent, I wanted EJ to know that we loved him and would always love him,” Magic explained to the newspaper.

“My job as a father is to protect him. His family and those that know him would always love him, but there would be people that don’t know him and may not approve. Some people may not be nice, but it wasn’t about him. I wanted to prepare him and let him know that I would always support him.”

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