Known for his vibrant character and witty clapbacks, N.C. Central University welcomed reality television star and fashion enthusiast EJ Johnson Oct. 9 in B.N. for Duke Auditorium for the university’s second Rock the Lyceum lecture of the semester.
N.C. Central’s 2019-2020 Miss Junior Dallas Thompson served as the welcoming speaker of the event and N.C. Central student Justin Wright shared a brief biography of Johnson’s life, hobbies, and various career-related accolades.
During the lecture, Johnson discussed his experience with exploring gender-fluidity, how to handle adversity, and tips for being true to one’s self. N.C. Central student Columbus Hinson acted as the moderator for the lecture that evening.
“Continue to fight for your freedom and individuality because it will come together at some point,” Johnson emphasized. “You have to continue to push and be unapologetic about who you are, what’s important to you, and the person that you ultimately want to be.”
Johnson gave students advice regarding their family’s view of their sexuality and discussed how he and his family’s relationship has progressed since coming out.
“They should be able to know the real you,” Johnson said regarding the families of individuals who want to come out. “There’s no need in hiding who you are at any time.”
In addition to discussing serious topics about his life, Johnson also spoke about other topics such as fashion and how his fashion style has shifted throughout the years.
“My love affair with fashion continues to be a thing of growth,” Johnson explained. “I’m constantly being open to new styles, motifs, and different things related to fashion.”
Johnson proceeded to describe his current style as “grown and sexy” and referred to his former style as “scantily clad.”
“This year it’s very grown and sexy motifs,” Johnson said. “It just fits my mood.”
The lecture also featured a brief yet engaging performance from CPR, one of N.C. Central’s modeling troupes.
Hinson also asked Johnson questions pertaining to his future career and business ventures.
According to Johnson, a potential fashion line is in the works but he has yet to have a “clear vision” for it.
“I have not had a clear vision for what my fashion line will look like yet so I have not started to mold it,” Johnson explained. “But, when I do, it will be everything.”
Johnson also added that he is a “perfectionist” and he wants his name to be attached to amazing work.
“The thing about me is I’m a perfectionist,” Johnson remarked. “Anything that I put my name on, anything that I devote my time to has to be absolutely perfect.”
Following the moderated discussion, audience members were given the opportunity to personally ask Johnson questions surrounding the empowering and motivational theme of the lecture.
Along with answering the audience member’s questions, representatives from N.C. Central’s LGBTA Resource Center personally Johnson to the center’s upcoming Homecoming Drag show. According to Johnson, he would attend the show if his schedule permits him to do so.
The lecture commenced with Johnson providing a few last words of wisdom to the audience before everyone departed.
“I know sometimes it’s difficult because things get really dark and there’s a lot of fear and anxiety that comes along with living your truth,” Johnson concluded. “But I promise you that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”