The openly gay son of NBA legend Magic Johnson says he is able to be a confident man today because he had parents who stood by him when he came out as a teenager.
‘I had no idea what a rare gift that was,’ EJ Johnson writes in a Huffington Post column published this week.
He points out that as LGBT civil rights victories continue to happen at a dizzying pace, hundreds of thousands of parents are still kicking their kids out of the house.
An estimated 320,000 to 400,000 LGBT youth face being homeless each year, Johnson points out.
‘I don’t know what it will take for parents to finally stop abandoning their kids just for being themselves,’ writes Johnson who works as a fashion expert for E!
‘I’ve been asked if young LGBT kids might see me as a role model. That’s flattering, but I really hope their parents look to my parents instead.’
But because that is not the case far too often Johnson is throwing his public support behind such places as the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Ali Forney Center in New York, the Ruth Ellis Center in Michigan and others who are stepping in to care for LGBT young people.
In particular, Johnson touts the expansion plans bu the LA Center which is raising $25 million to help build a shelter with 100 beds for homeless LGBT youth.
‘Things seem to keep on getting better for our community as a whole, yet the Center is caring for more homeless LGBT youth than ever,’ he writes.
‘When I get married and have kids myself someday, I’ll be trying to live up to what my parents taught me: It doesn’t matter who you are or how successful you are, loving your children comes first.’