Last week the world learned what basketball great Magic Johnson and his wife Cookie had known for many years—that their son, Earvin Magic Johnson, Jr. was gay. If you didn’t already respect Magic for appearing to be a stand up guy, a philanthropist and a businessman who has invested heavily in inner-cities, then perhaps he’ll earn it with his response to the “outing” of his namesake: “Cookie and I have always been proud of EJ and will always support him.”
I think most people with children have wondered at one point or another how we would react to learning that they were gay.
Decades ago, parents had excuses for not handling the news as well as Magic and Cookie. Back then there were few, if any, examples to follow. There was no Oprah or Dr. Phil out there to remind people that others were experiencing the same things that they were.
No matter what your religion, politics, or upbringing has taught you, when it comes to people, even our children, some things just are as they are. Some are left handed, some have freckles, some are attracted to the same sex as they are, and some will never feel normal living as a boy when they feel like a girl and vice versa.
The latter is the most complicated. As some people pointed out when they saw the video of EJ sporting a boa and purse, gay is one thing, “flaming” is another. Chastity Bono, the daughter of singer Cher, was so certain that she was intended to be male that she got gender reassignment surgery, hormone shots and is now living as a male.
Magic and Cher will tell you that these situations didn’t come up over night. In fact, Magic says, EJ’s identity was so noticeable that he and Cookie approached him when he was 13 and he admitted that he was gay.
What is a parent to do? Yell, cry, ignore the truth, shun, condemn? It sounds bad when you say it, but those are all real and honest reactions for some. We have an image of what and who our children will be and when it’s not even close to our imaginary blueprint, that can throw us way off. We have to deal with our disappointment, fear and sometimes anger, then with how we think others will react. Not easy by any stretch. But if you’re a parent, a real parent who loves unconditionally, then the question you should ask is, do I want my child to live a life of happiness or misery? Growing up is tough, no matter who you are, and the role of parents is to help our children maneuver through with guidance, patience, instruction, and love.
For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. It results in approximately 4,600 lost lives each year.
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were significantly more likely to attempt suicide in the previous 12 months, compared with heterosexuals (21.5% vs 4.2%). Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments.
I’m not a psychologist but it doesn’t take one to know that no parent should ever allow their child to suffer needlessly.
Whether you believe one is born gay or that it’s a choice isn’t the issue. The real issue is that as parents, we have the option to choose love. And like Magic and Cookie, we should.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31