Jay-Z’s Mom Opens Up About Coming Out

Jay-Z’s mother Gloria Carter opened up Saturday about the support she got from her famous son after she came out to him as gay.

Accepting a special award at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Carter recalled: “My son cried and said, ‘It must have been horrible to live that way for so long.’ My life wasn’t horrible I chose to protect my family from ignorance.”

Carter, a mother and grandmother, also spoke about meeting her first partner. “Love gave me the courage to take the power that I allowed other people to have over my life for fear of them revealing my secret,” she said.

MORE: Jay-Z's Mom Reveals How She Came Out To Him

“I am a human being who has a right to love who I love. So everybody, just smile and be free.”

Carter’s coming out inspired the track “Smile” on Jay-Z’s latest album 4:44. He 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. Cried tears of joy when you fell in love. Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her. I just wanna see you smile through all the hate.”

Watch Carter’s full speech below: