Magic Johnson’s son, Earvin, is allegedly gay after TMZ conducted an interview that features him walking on the Sunset Strip wearing a fur coat, carrying a handbag and holding the hand of an unidentified man.
A photographer asked the 20-year-old son of Los Angeles Lakers legend and Dodgers owner about the new Dodgers season and the Lakers’ playoff chances, then let him go on his way and reported that the young man accompanying Johnson is his boyfriend. That hasn’t been confirmed.
“Cookie and I love E.J. and support him in every way,” Magic told TMZ in a statement. “We’re very proud of him.”
It really shouldn’t be surprising or newsworthy in 2013 that a father would say he loves, supports and is proud of his son for being himself, regardless of his sexual orientation. But given Johnson’s stature in a sporting world still very much wrestling with acceptance of homosexuality and LGBT culture, it is. It’s something worth noting.
Not that Magic speaking up as an ally would be anything shocking, of course. During a December 2011 interview with the Huffington Post Canada, Johnson spoke about the aftermath of his Nov. 7, 1991, revelation that he is HIV-positive, his efforts to educate people about HIV/AIDS over the ensuing two decades and how homophobia can prove a stubborn cultural obstacle to raising awareness.
“I learned a lot from the white gay community because they had gotten their community, rallied them, educated them and did a wonderful job about driving the numbers down. That is the best approach that I’ve seen; it’s been the most effective. So what we try to do in our community is bring those results to us. So I’m working hard to continue to educate minorities about HIV and AIDS and we’ve got to band together. We’re too fragmented right now, but if we can do that, we’re going to do well,” Magic said.
In the immediate aftermath of Johnson’s 1991 announcement, rumors circulated that he was either gay or bisexual, and had contracted HIV by having sex with an HIV-positive male partner.
Some of those rumors were allegedly circulated by longtime friend and on-court rival Isiah Thomas, which he fervently denied spreading the rumors. The two have recently reconciled after 20 years.
Johnson’s son apparently has a boyfriend, doesn’t feel like he needs to hide that and goes out sometimes. His mom and dad are OK with that, love their son and want people to know that.