The legendary athlete appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show ” Wednesday to praise his son 24-year-old son for publicly coming out. When asked his advice for parents dealing with a child coming out as gay, Magic said:
“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,” Johnson, 57, stressed. “It’s all about loving them no matter who they are, what they decide to do. And when my son came out, I was so happy for him, and happy for us as parents — and we love him, and EJ is amazing.”
“So, you gotta support your child — because there’s so many people who try to discriminate against them, so they need you to support him, ’cause if you don’t support him, who’s gonna support him and love them?” he added. “You know, it’s really important.”
Johnson also talked about his interest in politics and revealed his one big regret in life. Check out the clip above.
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ET spoke with Cookie Johnson, as well as EJ, backstage at the 28th annual GLAAD Media Awards earlier this month, where she confessed that it took some time her and her husband to accept their son’s sexuality.
“In my book [2016 memoir Believing in Magic: My Story of Love, Overcoming Adversity, and Keeping the Faith], I dedicated a whole chapter to EJ,” she said. “I did that because I wanted the world to know, you know, accept your children when they’re babies — when you understand, when they’re young, and that way you instill positive things in them, and they can have a lot of self-confidence, and go into this world and do wonderful things. It took me a long time to understand, you know, who he was and to get on board, and I wrote that chapter because I wanted other young parents to understand, don’t wait so long. This is who they are. Embrace them from the beginning.”
“I think we had to educate everyone around us, but you know, we took that challenge on, full force, and that’s important,” EJ added. “I think that’s important for everyone to do.”
EJ sat down with ET last June and opened up about exploring gender identity.
“I think that a lot of people have always had a lot of questions about that,” EJ said. “I play in men’s and women’s wear, and I kinda mix and things like that. I think it was an important conversation to have.”