E.J. Johnson, the son of retired NBA player Magic Johnson and Cookie Johnson, said he feels like his recent on-the-street interview with TMZ has led to a sort of second coming-out process.
"I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, since I've been out to my friends and family for five years," Johnson said in an interview with Howard Bragman on his Web series Gwissues. "So it just feels like I'm coming out again."
He also clarified that the guy he was holding hands with on the Sunset Strip is his best friend, not his boyfriend.
Johnson, 20, is studying event design at New York University. With his interests in journalism and media, he said he looks to Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, and RuPaul as role models.
Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive in 1991 and retired from the NBA that year. At the time, Cookie Johnson was pregnant with E.J.
"I am very, very, very blessed to have the family that I do," 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."
Bragman, a publicist, has also recently started representing Johnson.