Since first going public about his sexuality earlier this month, Johnson went on to tell host Howard Bragman on the latest episode of the webcast Gwissues, that "for me it was really, I guess, surprising, because I didn't think it was going to be that big a deal, since I was out to my family and friends for at least five years now."
Still, stepping into the spotlight, "It was almost as if I was coming out of the closet again," Johnson said. "Reliving the experience has been both exciting and interesting."
Not seeing any negatives to his situation, Johnson also happily admitted, "I'm reveling in it and making it work to my advantage."
In terms of how the whole story came to be, Johnson says he was approached by TMZ while he was walking down the Sunset Strip in L.A. with his best friend – not his boyfriend, he says, though the two sometimes hold hands – and was asked several questions about himself.
E.J.'s mother, Cookie Johnson, then told him that she was informed that TMZ planned to run the story, which it did (TMZ says they obtained permission). Afterward, E.J. says he appreciated the many positive comments that were posted on TMZ.com, and having anticipated some negative comments, he essentially shrugs them off to people's ignorance.
Far from feeling as if his privacy has been invaded, the mellow-sounding New York University junior, who is studying event planning and design, as well as fashion and media, said, "I always had dreams and plans of doing my own thing." And though he was looking forward to "creating my own image … it came a little sooner than I thought it would, but this is something I always knew I would be going through."
Asked how he can take this sudden attention in stride, E.J. unblinkingly credits his loving home. "I am very, very blessed to have the family I do ... super supportive," he said.
As for his initially coming out to them, first to his mom, when he was 13 or 14, he said, and then about a year later to his dad, E.J. was scared, as he suggested anyone in that situation would be.
But, he went on to say, "after I got all the love and support from my family, I knew I could go out and conquer the world."