Gloria Carter will be recognized next month at the GLAAD Awards for her coming-out story on Jay Z's song "Smile."
According to report from Billboard, Jay Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, will be receiving a Special Recognition Award for her powerful coming-out story through her son’s track “Smile,” from his 2017 album 4:44. She will be recognized at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards in New York City which will be going down May 5th at the New York Hilton Midtown.
“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,” JAY-Z raps in the song. “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.”
GLAAD's president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement that Gloria's willingness to open herself up to her son and the world allowed for deeper, more meaningful conversations about the intersections of race and sexuality.
"By sharing her truth with the world, Gloria Carter increased visibility of lesbian women of color at a critical time and sent a powerful message of empowerment to the entire LGBTQ community,” Ellis said. “Her story and the unconditional love that her family exhibits resonate with so many. The GLAAD Media Awards will be a critical platform to honor her work and further this important message.”
Jay Z recently spoke about witnessing his mother's coming out and how it affected him on the latest episode of David Letterman’s Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Hov said he was so happy for his mother when she first came out that he actually cried.
“Imagine having lived your life for someone else. And you think you’re protecting your kids,” the "Song Cry" Jay said. “And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and, like, protect her kids — and didn’t want to embarrass her kids, and you know, for all this time.” He continued: “For her to sit in front of me and tell me, ‘I think I love someone,’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story. I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”