Gloria Carter, mother of rapper Jay-Z, says she “was not free” until she came out as gay.


She said this while receiving a special recognition prize at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award ceremony.

In 2017, the hip hop mogul’s mother came out of the closet and the development inspired him to write ‘Smile’, a track on his ‘4:44’ album.

On the song ‘Smile’, Gloria Carter delivered a moving speech about what it was like for her to live a lie.


Carter, who was recognised on Sunday for the song, said: “I accept it with joy and pride on behalf of my son and myself. Thanks to my family for loving me unconditionally, no matter what. Thanks to my partner for loving me and helping me free myself from being in the shadows.

“Smile became a reality because I shared with my son who I am, not that people didn’t know.

“My son cried and said ‘It must have been horrible to live that way for so long’. I chose to protect my family from ignorance. I was happy but I was not free.


“Then one day, I met someone that made my heart sink.

“Love gave me the courage to take the power I had allowed other people to have over my life for fear of them revealing my secret that wasn’t really a secret.”

In April, Jay-Z revealed to David Letterman that he cried when his mother told him that she was gay


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