Magic Johnson & Son EJ Cried When He Revealed He Was Gay
Jada Pinkett Smith and her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk has been the epicenter of controversial and often taboo topics. Along with her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne, Jada has talked about everything from sex to dealing with mental health issues. This past Monday, Pinkett Smith continued to dig deep when she interviewed EJ Johnson and his mother Cookie to talk about what it means to be gender fluid, and what it was like to “come out” as gay to his father former basketball player Magic Johnson.
Cookie noted that at the age of three EJ seemed different than the other boys.
He started wanting to put on the princess costumes at school.
Cookie also pointed out that EJ would,
try on her shoes, pay special attention to his grandmother’s clothes and, when they had him play baseball, he paid more attention to the flowers in the field than the game.
When Cookie noticed that he and his friend would react when guys would walk by them at the beach as opposed to girls, that’s when she knew she should have a talk with EJ.
So I was like, okay, we need to have a talk. The talk wasn’t you can’t be this, the talk was, ‘Do you think you are? Know that if you are, I’m okay with it. So he answered and said, ‘Yes, I think I am.’ I said, ‘We will love you and support you no matter what.’ But at that time, you can be happy in your room, but don’t let dad see you. So it was all of that.
When EJ finally came out to his father, NBA legend Magic Johnson, both she and EJ admit it was a difficult situation. According to Cookie, her husband “reacts quickly to things” and often just says whatever is at the top of his more than likely without thinking his thoughts through. Magic had a different conversation with his son EJ the next day after Cookie told him that he may have been too harsh. EJ explained,
[He] just was like, we’re gonna get through this, I just need time and we both just started crying a little bit. 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.
EJ also spoke on his fashion choices and how his gender fluidity affects him.
He noted that it’s usually not a big deal but that it does get a little weird when he’s fussing with skirts in the men’s bathroom:
The only time it gets weird is which bathroom do I go into sometimes. It’s gotten to a point where I’m in a skirt, doing the most, in a men’s room like and everyone’s like (looks around) and I’m like (looks around) … excuse me!
Willow and EJ were able to relate to each other on their gender fluidity and them being able to express themselves through their fashion and outward appearance. While Pinkett Smith and her husband Will, have gone back and forth regarding the gender fluidity of both of their children, Jada revealed that she had to explain to Will that this was just a way the children wanted to express themselves and that it was okay. Willow also revealed that her father Will Smith didn’t want her to cut her hair:
He was like, ‘Don’t do it, all your femininity,’ as if my femininity was in my hair.
Jada then added that was Will’s way of just wanting her to “stay a little girl as long as you can.”
EJ and Willow were able to relate to each other not only on gender fluidity but also on being the children of celebrities in the public eye. It isn’t always easy growing up in public and people constantly watching everything you do and say. They admit that as celebrity children they can’t always figure out if the people they meet truly want friendship or that they are just looking to get closer to their celebrity parents. Dating for EJ has “always been a struggle” EJ explains,
First of all, there’s the celebrity thing. Like, who are you here for, are you dating me or are you trying to date my dad? These men either just want to be there for one thing and don’t want to stay for the real relationship part or they just want to ride the wave and be bougie and bomb and have their picture taken and do all of that. So there’s so much going on. Both hurt, both you end up crying in the corner.
Despite dating obstacles EJ however stays strong and continues living the best life he can for himself. Everyone on the show emphasized that with each passing generation the norms are always changing. Jada concluded the interview with this life lesson:
We give life to our children … and I think we often forget how much our kids teach us. What a blessing.