After his son was spotted walking hand-in-hand with rumored boyfriend, Magic Johnson opened up about his 20-year-old son's sexuality. Sitting down for an interview with TMZ, the former NBA star revealed that he and his wife, Cookie, figured out their son's homosexuality nearly eight years ago.
"We've known for a long time that my son EJ was gay. It's interesting when you're his parents," Johnson explained. He estimated his son was 12 or 13 years old at that time. "We finally had to sit down and talk about it. I told him, 'Look, I'm gonna love you regardless, just let me know. Are you, or aren't you?' And finally he said, 'Yes, I am.' "
"It was a hard conversation only because he was so young. What do you say to tell him at that age, what do you say to him?" Johnson continued. "I told him, 'We are here to support you, man. We are going to love you no matter who you are or what you do. We just want you to love yourself and make sure that you have all the information.' "
Johnson said that his son was relieved after they had the talk. "He really wanted to make sure I was OK. He wasn't worried about his mom, he was worried about me. I think he was worried about what would I think. Am I going to change toward him or something like that," added Johnson. "I love E.J. so much. That's my main man. I told him, 'Nothing has changed.' He's just happy that it is out. I'm behind him a million percent."
Of the negative and cruel comment addressed to him and his son, the 53-year-old former athlete said, "It bothers me that they're discriminating against anybody who's gay. I've been in the gay movement for a long time because of HIV and AIDS. I see young men who are black who couldn't come out, who couldn't tell their parents, their neighbors. So now, it's my son."
"This is the year 2013 - we should stop discriminating against people. And that's what I'm gonna do with my son. But I'll also support others. This is gonna be good for a lot of black young people," he continued. "It's unfortunate that we have to go through some of this negative stuff. But it's not gonna change me, it's not gonna change my son and the way I love him. If people can't understand it, that's on them."
Magic Johnson on Giving E.J. "The Talk":
Magic Johnson on Anti-Gay Haters: