In the song “Smile” on Jay-Z’s new album, 4:44, the rapper shares the tenderness he felt when his mother, Gloria Carter, came out as a lesbian to him. Now Gloria is personally sharing her coming out journey with the world.
Gloria spoke candidly in a recent podcast interview, sharing, “I just finally started telling Jay who I was. Besides your mother, this is the person that I am. This is the life that I live,” she explained. “So my son started actually tearing. He's like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, Ma.’ I was like, my life was never horrible. It was just different.”
Mama Carter went on to joke that when she first heard “Smile,” she wasn’t really feeling it, but appreciated her son's empathy. In the song, Jay-Z raps, “Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian / Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take."
The mother of four expressed now that she's open about being a lesbian, she hopes people can focus on her achievements instead of her sexuality. She concluded, “Now it's time for me to be free.”
Spread your wings and fly, Gloria. We'll be right here cheering you on.