Jay-Z And Mother Gloria Carter To Be Recognized At GLAAD Media Awards

January 20, 2018  |  

gloria carter honored by glaad


With eight nominations at the 2018 Grammy Awards, it’s apparent that rapper Jay-Z’s transparency on his 4:44 album is much appreciated. 4:44 dug deep into the details of his personal life including his struggles with infidelity, strained relationships with friends and business partners like Kanye West and the reveal that his mother, Gloria Carter is a lesbian. In addition to his Grammy nods, Jay-X (née Shawn Carter) now is the recipient of another honor, and he may have his mother’s story to thank.

Vh-1 reports GLAAD (Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) recently announced the song “Smile” from the 4:44 album will receive special recognition at the 20th GLAAD Media Awards. The track which samples Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” details Jay-Z’s point of view of his mother’s coming out story:

“Mama had four kids but she’s a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.”

“I cried tears of joy when you fell in love/Doesn’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”

The song also includes an original poem by Gloria Carter who also shares her experience of being a mother and staying true to herself:

Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?

In the shadows people see you as happy and free

Because that’s what you want them to see

Living two lives, happy, but not free

You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you love

The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free

But you live with the fear of just being me

No harm for them, no harm for me

Last year in the D’usse Friday podcast hosted by her grandson, Gloria Carter went into more detail about exactly how she came out to her son:

“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. 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. So that made him want to do a song about it and the first time I heard the song I was like, eh, I don’t know dude. I ain’t feeling that.”

Carter shares that eventually she decided to offer her help and contribute to the song, writing the featured poem while on a flight to Los Angeles.

The song provides insight onto Jay-Z’s views on tolerance, acceptance and inclusion. It isn’t the first time Jay-Z has been vocal about same-sex relationships. In an interview with CNN in 2012, when the debate about same-sex marriage was brewing, Jay-Z shared that he believes everyone should be entitled to love and live as they wish:

“What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business.”

The GLAAD Awards is set to take place on April 12, 2018 in Los Angeles as well as May 5 in New York.

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