Jay-Z’s Mom Gloria Carter Says Sharing Her Sexuality Helps People Focus On More Important Parts Of Her Identity

September 8, 2017  |  


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In his latest and shockingly honest album Jay-Z shared that his mother is a lesbian. On the third track “Smile,” which samples Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s In Need of Love Today,” Jay 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.”

His mother Gloria Carter’s voice is featured on song reading a poem. In a recent sit down interview with the D’usse Friday podcast, which is hosted by Carter’s grandson, she shared more of the story.

“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,” Carter continued. “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.”

She said that this was the first time she shared the story because it was simply something they never discussed.

“I was never ashamed of me. I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to ‘em. I don’t have to worry about anybody wondering if I’m in the life or not. So now maybe you can focus on the phenomenal things I do, so focus on that. Now it’s time for me to be free.”

Once she shared her story, that still didn’t mean she was on board to be featured on the song, telling him she wasn’t feeling it. Eventually, she decided to help.

“We talked about it and we talked about it,” Gloria reveals. “Then I was going out to see him, and I was on the plane, and I was like, ok, I’m going to help him. If we’re going to do it. I wrote [the poem] while I was on the plane going to L.A. When I got there, I was like, ‘Yo, I’m going to help you along.’ So I gave him this. So I said

‘Look at this’ and he was like, ‘Wow, you wrote this on the plane?’”

Carter said that exposing the information is freeing because it helps people focus on other parts of her identity.

“I don’t have to worry about anyone wondering whether I’m in the life or not,” she said. “I’m gonna tell them. So now that I’ve told you, what do you have to talk about? So now, maybe you can focus on the phenomenal things that I do. So focus on that.”

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