Every once in awhile there's a celebrity story that brings tears to your eyes ... in a good way. Take the way basketball great Magic Johnson has handled his son Earvin EJ Johnson III coming out as a gay man. Magic has been a class act.
Heck, after listening to him talk about how he first found out EJ was gay -- way back when he was a young teen -- I kind of wish the Lakers legend was my dad. Magic's eyes quite literally light up with love when he's talking about his son, and his explanation of how he and wife Cookie have helped their boy through the whole process is like a road map for parents of gay teens.
They've done it more or less perfectly, and that's not just an outside observation. You can tell by the way their son has reacted. As EJ Tweeted this week:
in the midst of all this media attention i would like to say that i am truly blessed to have parents that love and support me @MagicJohnson
Parents, that's what you want to hear from your gay kid, isn't it? Maybe it's time to take some plays out of the Magic Johnson playbook:
1. Don't wait for your child to come to you. Go to them. Before Magic dove in with EJ he prefaced the conversation with "I will love you either way" to make his son more comfortable.
2. Talk about the birds and the bees. Just because sexual interactions between gay couples don't carry with them the risk of pregnancy doesn't mean you're off the hook. There are myriad health and emotional risks kids need to be protect themselves from.
3. Continue to show your love. The initial "coming out" may be the biggest conversation you will have about your child's sexuality, but gay kids need to know that things haven't changed after it. As Magic says, EJ was worried most about how his dad would feel about him after the talk. He and wife Cookie make sure to give constant reassurance.
4. Help them come out. Coming out to their parents is tough, but it's not the end. As Magic says, some people will be supportive; some won't, and it's his job as a dad to support EJ through it all.
Check out Magic talking about his son:
What would you add for parents of gay kids?
Image via TMZ/YouTube