NBA legend and entrepreneur Magic Johnson has so much love for his son E.J., who came out in 2013.

In a 2017 appearance on "The Ellen Show", Johnson talked about the moment E.J. (a rising star in his own right) came out to to him and his wife, Cookie. They had what can only be described as the ideal reaction: They supported their son from the get-go.

"When my son came out, I was so happy for him and happy for us as parents," Johnson said. "And we love him. And E.J. is amazing."


E.J., sister Elisa, and Magic Johnson in 2014. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Ellen asked what advice Johnson would give other parents who find themselves in the same situation. His advice was spot-on.

"I think it's all about you not trying to decide what your daughter or son should be, or what you want them to become," he answered. "It's all about loving them no matter who they are [or] what they decide to do."

Image via TheEllenShow/YouTube.

Family acceptance and support is important to all kids, but it's vital for the health and well-being of LGBTQ youth.

"You gotta support your child," Johnson wants parents to know. "It's so many people who try to discriminate against them, so they need you to support them. 'Cause if you don't support 'em, who's gonna support 'em and love 'em?"

There's enough bigotry and discrimination in the world. No child deserves to hear it at home.

The data doesn't lie: "LGBT young people whose parents and caregivers reject them or try to change them are at high risk for depression, substance abuse, suicide and HIV infection," said Caitlin Ryan, faculty member at San Francisco State University and director of the Family Acceptance Project. "LGBT young people whose parents support them and stand up for them show much higher levels of self-esteem and greater well-being, with lower rates of health and mental health problems."

E.J., Elisa, Cookie, and Magic Johnson in 2014. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

If you're a parent or family member supporting someone who just came out, you don't have to go it alone.

Check out PFLAG for more information, including local meet-ups for parents and resources to build and foster safe communities. Groups like Parents for Transgender Equality, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and Believe Out Loud are also great places to start.

Need more inspiration? See more of Magic Johnson's appearance on "Ellen."

via alyssa360style / Instagram

One of the most amazing (and frightening) realizations one can have as a parent is that your child is always listening and they have incredible memories.

Alyssia, the mother of three-year-old Ayaan, was blown away when during their walk to school he began reciting positive affirmations she taught him a year earlier. When he was two she taught him to repeat "I am smart. I am blessed. I can do anything," when he is stressed.

"Well he shocked me this morning. Out of no where he started repeating it, so I pulled out my phone," Alyssia commented on her Instagram post. "He ended (with enthusiasm lol) once we made it to our destination. So proud of the little boy he is growing into."

Alyssia shared the video on Instagram where it received nearly 100,000 likes.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

"There's only one thing more dangerous than a bad virus, and that's a bad vaccine," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's health emergencies programme, said in March. "We have to be very, very, very careful in developing any product that we're going to inject into potentially most of the world population."

Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have said that developing a vaccine and getting it through the necessary safety and efficacy protocols would take, at minimum, 12 to 18 months. Yet here we are, 7 months in, and Vladimir Putin has just announced that Russia has already approved a vaccine for the coronavirus.

According to the BBC, there are more than 100 vaccines in various stages of development and testing. Six of those have reached phase 3 trials, involving more widespread testing in humans. Russia's vaccine is not among those six.

Meanwhile, hundreds of U.S. doctors have signed a letter urging the FDA not to rush or politicize vaccine trials.

Keep Reading Show less