By Nikki Woods
(BlackAmericaWeb.com) 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 you’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.”
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.
Please read Ms. Woods’ powerful article in full here.