Son of Magic Johnson talks about being gay

The 20-year-old son of basketball great Magic Johnson is

surprised by the public interest in his being gay, something that

he revealed to his supportive family several years ago.

Earvin Johnson III, known as E.J., says he feels like he’s

coming out of the closet a second time and that he’s ”reveling”

in the experience – even though news of his sexual orientation

broke publicly sooner than he had planned.

In an interview posted Tuesday on the YouTube.com talk show

”Gwissues,” Johnson said that he didn’t feel violated after TMZ

recently revealed that he’s gay.

”I always wanted to come into the spotlight,” he said. ”I

always had dreams and plans of doing my own thing and creating my

own image, so it came a little sooner than I thought it would but

this is still something I knew I would be going through and would

have to experience.”

The younger Johnson is a junior at New York University studying

event management and design with an interest in fashion, journalism

and media.

He said the public reaction has ranged from support to

criticism, including online postings involving ”nasty things about

me and what I’m doing.”

”It’s almost like they’re attacking me for being me and so to

that I can only say, `Well, I can only be myself, so I don’t know

really what you want me to do,”’ he told ”Gwissues” host and

interviewer Howard Bragman, a publicist who recently began

representing Johnson.

Johnson’s father, who co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, retired

from the NBA in November 1991 after announcing he had HIV, the

virus that causes AIDS. His wife, Cookie, was pregnant with E.J. at

the time. The couple also has an adopted daughter, Elisa, and Magic

has an older son, Andre, from a previous relationship.

”I am very, very, very blessed to have the family that I do,”

E.J. Johnson said. ”My parents have always been super supportive.

My sister and I have always been really close and she’s been really

supportive as with my brother. When it was time to come out, I was,

obviously, scared as most people are. After I got all the love and

support from my family then I knew I could go out and conquer the

world, I guess.”

Johnson said he first came out to his mother, who approached him

when he was 13 or 14.

”I told her how I was feeling and she obviously told me that

she had known and always would love me anyway. The same thing

happened with my dad like a year or so later,” he said. ”Everyone

has to get used to it. No parent is prepared 100 percent and fully

for something like that. We all had to work and move forward.”

He’d like to follow in his famous father’s footsteps in one

arena: hosting his own talk show. Magic Johnson had a short-lived

show on Fox in 1998 that was canceled because of low ratings.

E.J. Johnson said he’d like to be ”the voice for young gay

people who need someone to be on TV or wherever else to talk to

them and talk about all kinds of issues that all of us face and not

just homosexual issues but all kinds of issues.”

”I definitely want to set a really good example,” he said.

Online:

YouTube interview: http://bit.ly/13fn26l