As a parent, we want the best for our children and want them to be successful in all that they do. No matter how many opinions are voiced on how to raise our children, everyone is going to raise their child the best way they know how to. We try do everything we can to shield them from being hurt physically, mentally and emotionally. The world can be so cruel and you want to protect them the best way you know how to.
One of the most emotional topics in a household is the discussion of sexuality. According to what society has showcased their definition of what is normal, parents want their sons playing sports or their daughters having tea parties with their dolls. Regardless of what you instill in your child, they are going to be who they want be and as parents we have to show them that we support and love them no matter what.
In this week’s episode of the “Red Table Talk,” the discussion of sexuality with Magic Johnson’s son EJ Johnson and his mother Cookie. Cookie shared her story on how she learned that her son was gay and how she handled it. Johnson stated that she began to recognize the signs at an early age when he would walk around the house in his grandmother’s heels or her skirts. At that time, Johnson said what many parents say when they notice that their child is different, “It’s just a phase and he’ll grow out of it.” The Johnson family did what they thought was best for their child. EJ was placed in sports but instead of playing baseball she said that he would be in the outfield picking flowers.
As EJ got older, Cookie began to realize that is wasn’t just a phase. When EJ was about 15, she asked him about his sexuality. She stated that when she had the talk with her son, it wasn’t to scold him or tell him that he can’t be gay. It was more for reassurance and to let her son know that she was okay with it. Johnson wanted her son to know that regardless of what he wants to be, she was going to be there for him and support his decisions.
During the table talk, Cookie went on to discuss how it was easier for EJ to talk to her about his sexuality but when it came to the legend Lakers’ player, Magic Johnson, it wasn’t as easy. “My husband is the type of person, he reacts quickly, so everything that came to the top of his head, he just let it out. And I was like, it hurt my feelings and I know it probably hurt his feelings when he’d go, ‘It’s not what I wanted for my son and do you realize what you’re saying because the world is not going to like that and do you want to live this life?'”, Cookie stated at the table talk.
Cookie felt that Magic was a bit harsh to their son and had a conversation with him about accepting their son. After having the conversation with her husband, he went to his son and told him we’re gonna get through this, I just need time and we both just started crying a little bit.” EJ then went on to talk about how he really felt loved from his dad and knew that their family was going to be okay.
“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.”
As parents, we have to remember that Love and Support is EVERYTHING when it comes to our children. Being normal is being yourself and not allowing the world to pick and choose what they want you to do or who you want to be.
If you haven’t watched, check out the full interview below: