How Judge Greg Mathis Encouraged His Son to Come Out on Mathis Family Matters

By Allison Crist Jun 17, 2022 4:06 PMTags
Watch: Mathis Family Matters EXCLUSIVE: Greg Mathis & Son Talk Sexuality

Mathis Family Matters is without a doubt the feel-good show of the summer, but that doesn't mean the new series shies away from serious topics. 

Judge Greg Mathis, Sr. and his eldest son, Greg Jr., spoke exclusively to E! News about one such topic: Greg Jr.'s tendency to hide his sexuality. As the family patriarch explained, "Greg and I had an [onscreen] discussion about him not sharing his sexuality or being gay with the general public, his friends and others."

"I thought he had because he shared it with us at age 18 and moved to Washington, D.C. and has been there for over a decade and that's a gay-friendly town," Judge Mathis continued. "So I was shocked that he hadn't, and there are moments there that are very emotional in the sense that I let him know that he has to fight."

What shocked the longtime television personality even more, he said, was one of the reasons Greg Jr., 33, hadn't publicly come out: Not just for fear of people criticizing Greg Jr., but also, his father.

Mathis Family Matters Cast

Judge Mathis called the conversation they share on the matter "very emotional," but it's one of the show's storylines that he's looking forward to viewers seeing the most: "It's a very poignant part of this series overall that I think people will find compelling."

Greg Jr. is equally "excited," he told E! News, even though publicly discussing his sexuality—let alone on national television—was "one of the most vulnerable things I've ever had to do." 

"It really does chronicle not just my coming out process to the world," Greg Jr. said, giving a shout-out to his long-term love, Elliott Cooper, "but also my boyfriend's."

Tommy Garcia/E! Entertainment

Mathis Family Matters also offers a look at "the mental anguish and struggle a lot of LGBTQ+ individuals go through during that process," Greg Jr. added, "and the fears that you have and the reactions from some of your family and friends."

He continued, "I'm really grateful for the opportunity to showcase that to the world, and I hope that will really make an impact for people who will watch this show and may be going through something similar and help them as they navigate that process in their own way."

Mathis Family Matters premieres with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, June 19 at 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on E!.

Catch up on season one anytime.