EJ Johnson doesn’t consolidate celebrating pride to just one month. “Every day is pride” for the fierce trendsetter and outspoken LGBTQ activist, who just recently celebrated their 30th year around the sun. They have a lot to be proud of, too. After stepping away from the reality TV limelight, the fashionably forward celeb underwent an almost unrecognizable transformation. In February, the Beverly Hills native broke into the acting world by voicing Michael Collins, the first LGBTQ-identifying character on Disney’s reboot of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder! Now, after blocking out the noise and going inward for some deep personal reflection, the former E! News personality finally feels like they have achieved “happiness.”
“I’m happy every single day and my energy goes towards cultivating it. That’s really just my job at this point in my life,” the star told MADAMENOIRE.
“Everything else just flows to me so naturally now. But it’s because I did the work. I have this beautiful love that I experience with myself every day and there’s power that comes from that.”
Now, EJ is helping other people to “live their best life” through their partnership with DIAGEO. The multi-national beverage company recently tapped the star to kick off their Joy of June series, an event celebrating the vibrancy of Black joy, identity and self-expression.
“These are things that are very close to my heart and obviously how I live my life. I love anything that highlights having a good time and helping people find their own personal joy,” the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills alum gushed. “And if any of you are also like me, going out and dressing up and being fabulous is definitely attached to my happiness. So, a place where people can come together and really do that is always fabulous to me.”
In 2022, EJ spent Pride catching up with old friends and sipping on tasty cocktails at the B-Hen premiere Block Party, where the event was held. It was a moment of pure glee and unity for the celeb, albeit much needed in today’s gloomy social landscape. Perhaps that’s what’s so admirable about EJ. They aren’t letting scary and salacious headlines deviate their focus from love and community.
“We’ll always continue to press on.”
EJ has been a prominent voice behind the male beauty movement, a growing community of cis-gender and non-binary men reclaiming the idea of masculinity. Gender fluidity transcends throughout the socialite’s life, both physically and spiritually, and they’re happy to see more members of the group embracing the revolution.
“It’s funny because I was doing it when nobody had a name for it, when we weren’t talking about nonbinary or we’re talking about gender fluidity or anything. You know? I was just riding around in skirts and heels and handbags and it just was what it was. I think it’s great that we’ve opened up a dialogue and people are paying attention. It’s all come together in a beautiful way.”
Over the last few years, EJ has made a conscious decision to honour their feminine energy. It looks damn good on them, too. The vibrant star has been spotted dressing up in a number of riveting high fashion gowns and off-runway ensembles. In April, EJ attended the screening of their father Magic Johnson’s new documentary “They Call Me Magic,” wearing a stunning sequins Tom Ford piece that set the internet spiralling with commentary.
“It made a much bigger statement than I anticipated which is always wonderful. A nice little surprise,” they chuckled. “I just wanted to feel beautiful and sexy and glamorous, and I wanted a red carpet look worthy of that. So when I found the dress, I was like, Oh, this is perfect for me.”
The future looks super bright for EJ. In April, news broke that Disney+ would be renewing The Proud Family for a second season, and according to the star, their character will be “all up in” the forthcoming series.
“It’s huge, it’s as iconic, and honestly, I’m so blessed and honoured to be a part of such an amazing cast but also to be giving life to such an incredible character and heritage.” They also hope to begin writing and producing their own content to help bring more LGBTQ representation to mainstream media.
“We need it,” EJ declared.
The fashion titan’s courageous road to self-acceptance was not an easy journey. They have been transparent about the pitfalls of coming out, especially to their father, who initially could not accept that they were a part of the LGBTQ community. But love, time and care brings understanding and the two share an inseparable bond now.
EJ offered a few words of inspiration for those still finding the courage to stand tall in their truth.
“Block out what the world is saying, what social media’s saying. I think in our culture, we really listen a little bit too much to all the noise that’s going on and it disconnects us from listening to our internal monologue, which is always the most important. Flip the mirror on yourself and really do the inner work that is necessary to achieve your own personal truth, however that looks for you,” they shared, before adding:
“That’s what I really wish for humanity and everybody, you know, especially those questioning gender identity. You’re not going to find anything worrying about how other people think of you or what they are going to say. You need to know how you feel about you.”
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