The Magic Johnson Effect (#346)

So, MaJo -wait, that’s what we call him, right?- the MaJo has come out of the closet with a gay son.  Magic Johnson has a gay son.  Mr. HIV (I’m sure that’s not what he calls himself) has a gay son.  Not extraordinary.  Many people have gay sons.  What is amazing is how MaJo handled the situation.  He says, “he knew his boy was gay since he was 12.”


Johnson went on to say, “I don’t care if my son is gay, only that he loves himself.”


All paraphrases, but all hitting the sentiment pretty accurately.


magic johnson gay son

magic johnson son


The blacks and the latinos have been the last groups (in our country) to be swept up by the gay rights movement.  I believe that is because there is A LOT of machismo in the black and latino cultures.


The interesting thing is (back when I used to date men) the men I used to date were blacks and latinos.  Sure, there was a brave white guy or two in there, but they weren’t the majority.  Ultimately, I had been drawn this way because black and latino men can handle strong women.


Yep, you heard that right.


They often have strong mothers and (IN MY OPINION) can often handle strong women as a result.


The other side of my theory is that smart men (smart men who don’t want their boats rocked) tend to date mail-order-brides or off-the-boat, asian women.


Is that a harsh theory?  Maybe.  But, there also just might be something to what I’m saying.


Of course, there are exceptions to every rule (or better said – generalization).  There are the Hillarys for the Bills of the world.  There are the… wait, that’s the only white-couple example that I can think of.


Back to the MaJo.  Coming from a half latina background myself, I know how macho the latino society can be and I think the black culture is similar.  I remember having an argument with my male (hispanic) cousin where he said, “We are not a misogynist society.  Women in our country can do whatever men can do.”


To which I said, “Yeah, but do they?  The anti-woman vibe in your country is subtle, but it’s there.”


“Bullshit,” he said.


“Alright,” I responded.  “Go around this American bar we’re in right now and ask the men to name 10 female professional or famous athletes off the top of their heads.”


“So…,” said my cousin.


“Name me ONE Colombian female athlete,” I answered.


He couldn’t.  That was the litmus test for me.  Sure there are many other factors that lead to less female athletes in Colombia, specifically.  One would be less population than the United States, but that isn’t the only reason.  Unfortunately, one of the other factors is also going to be machismo.


brazil women's soccer


Take the women’s soccer team in Brazil.  There was no Brazilian women’s soccer team to speak of in Brazil UNTIL the American women started to win all the world cup soccer matches.  Then Brazil went – “Oh feck, I guess we have to let the women play.”  In Brazil soccer is a MUST for every young boy.  But, it wasn’t always a must for every young girl.  In fact, it was more of a mustn’t for girls, even for the ones that LOVED soccer.


Hold up now.  Back to MaJo and for real this time, I promise.  If black and latino (men specifically) can be more accepting of homosexual males – in two cultures that have the image of a super strong male at their center – then for me that says they will also become more accepting of women.  So, it’s a double acceptance of sorts.


Accept the gays and it would be hard NOT to accept the women.


Have a black figure, like MaJo, who is a picture of black strength and athleticism and celebrity come out and say, “gay is okay” and you really have taken a big step forward as a society.


I believe acceptance is the foreplay of equality.  What about you?



Sweet Mother is updated regularly on the quest to 365 posts.  Join me by clicking the “follow” prompt at the top, right of this blog.



Photo creds:

brazil-soccer, magic-family, magic-son


25 thoughts on “The Magic Johnson Effect (#346)

  1. I can name maybe 4 female athletes. And, I noticed, (or was pointed out to me), most of the women in my life were redheads. They also happened to be the strongest. Case in point, Christine (you may have heard of her if you’ve read my blog) was a redhead. Anyway, I’m bringing this up because I’m wondering: Based on what you said was your litmus test, does that make me, “Macho”? I’m merely curious, not baiting.

    But, based on my personal observations, the Hispanic and black cultures are pretty biased towards misogyny. Here’s why I think it is so: those cultures are usually extremely religious based. Primarily Christian and Catholic. Look closely at how the bible portrays women. I think that is the biggest thing standing in the way of equality in our world. What do you think, Sweet Mother?

    1. I think, as per usual, you bring up LOTS of great points. AND i think you are correct in pointing out the religious aspect. that falls into the ‘other factors’ thing that i was talking about. altho, i don’t know how religion stops women from playing soccer for feck sake. and nope, i don’t think you’re misogynist. not in the slightest. lastly, ten might be a high number to try and name for female athletes, but i’m going to give it a try off the top of my head. gabby reese, mary lou retton, mia hamm, brandy chastain, serena williams, martina navritalova, picabo street, chris everett lloyd, billie jean king, gabby douglas, joan benoit. 11, but i really had to think about it… interesting thoughts, all around. and i’ll be sending you those interview questions soon. this week. xoxo, sm

      1. Thanks love. And, now that you named them, most of them are familiar. The ones I was thinking of were: Venus & Serina Williams, Billie Holloday (Halliday? The tennis player that beat a guy), and Stephie (Steffi?) Graff.

  2. Funny, I wonder if most of the men in my personal life have been Black. Those men who have been other, well they ended up running like scared wabbits whining I was mean. Whatever!

    Do I think acceptance of Gay men (specifically) in the Black and Latino communities will change the dynamic of acceptance of women in the larger social structure? In a word, no. Men, will continue to be men no matter their orientation. Once society gets beyond who they love and marry they will continue to see they have penis’s and women do not, that is the basis of discrimination. Men have two places to store their brains women store theirs in only one.

    I do not believe we move toward equality until we eliminate religion from our public life.

  3. Just woke up so my brain cells are still a bit sluggish, but at least some of them perked up at the phrase ‘strong women’. What exactly is a strong woman? I consider myself to be a fairly strong woman but I don’t want the kind of equality that would make me more like a man.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love guys and I’ve usually had more men friends than female ones, but our big goals have always been different. Theirs seem to be external. Mine are internal… And somewhere in that verbiage I’ve lost the plot of what I wanted to say. I think I need more coffee.

    1. I think a strong woman is independent, doesn’t need a man or anybody else around to get shit done. She doesn’t let people push her into things she doesn’t want to do, and isn’t afraid to let her opinion be known. Strong women tend to be dominant types. I think partners who are more “go with the flow” or submissive types (guys like to crack the whip at men who let women take the lead, saying they are whipped) tend to get along best with them, IMO. But not always. Sometimes you can get two strong people together and they work really well together as a team. But sometimes they can really butt heads and create fireworks, lol.

      1. Hmmm…. I consider myself to be a strong woman, in some things, the important things, but I’m also happy to go-with-the-flow on most other things. For me, confrontation is a necessary last resort, and I’d rather use capsicum spray than pull out an emotional ‘gun’.

      2. Yep. I agree. I hate conflict as well and go with the flow on lots of stuff. Yet, I consider myself to be a strong woman. I pretty much “wear the pants” in my family, and have always been very independent and not afraid to do the things guys do (I’m a long haul trucker). In fact, I kind of need to, since my hubby tends not to be good at the guy things, like fixing stuff. He is, however GREAT at remembering all the little details like today is the third anniversary of that time… and it always scares me to death when he asks me if I know what today is because I’m like a guy and don’t remember squat. But that’s got nothing to do with being strong, lol. I guess we’ve kind of reversed traditional roles (though I wish he cleaned more). He stays home with the kiddo, I work.

  4. I’ve always been drawn to strong women as friends and my wife is from NJ (’nuff said there:)) and now that I think of it my brothers wives are pretty damn strong too…. We are all WASP/Irish hybrids but I agree it is definitely a cultural thing. Strong moms, and grandmothers (but same with the females as they were raised by strong women)

    My story aside, I think the bigger points you bring up are spot on as usual! If these tight lipped communities are becoming more accepting what the hell is wrong with the rest of the country.

    After reading the other responses though the religion aspect makes sense to me.

    1. such good pts there, tj. and there are certain irish types (all ethnicities, really) where what you say is absolutely true. your description of yourself reminds me of an old bouncer/ comedian friend i had back in new york. a big, redheaded viking type guy and an awesome human. and, of course, he married a puerto rican girl. 😉 xo, sm

  5. Great post, Mother. As always.

    Of course, what you said about acceptance is true. And in a way, acceptance sounds so easy – who wouldn’t simply ‘accept’? And yet, what people often mean by that is ‘fine, you can exist, but far away from me’ – and that’s really not acceptance…

  6. Interesting. I have to say that I’m positively surprised at Magic Johnson’s reaction. It warms my heart because my experience with the black and latino culture has been the same in terms of gay acceptance. Baby steps.

  7. Great post. Just like my kids (now in their early 20’s) who can’t believe we used to treat blacks/African Americans so badly, so goes, hopefully, their kids in 10 – 15 years, astonished that we today made such a big deal about someone’s sexual preference. Love your wit, too!

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