Rapper Jay-Z’s mother has come out as lesbian in a song on his newest album. Gloria Carter and Jay-Z discuss Gloria’s sexuality on the track “Smile” making it the first time that either have talked about it publicly.
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,” he adds before asserting, “Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
Gloria Carter shares her experience in a spoken word intro:
“Living in the shadow / 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. The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free / But you live with the fear of just being me… Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be / No harm for them, no harm for me / But life is short, and it’s time to be free / Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”
Though this is the first time Jay-Z discusses his mom’s sexuality publicly, Jay-Z did support gay marriage and said so in an interview on CNN in 2012.
“I’ve always thought [not allowing same-sex individuals to wed] was still, um, holding the country back,” Jay-Z said. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. [It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
Congrats, Gloria Carter!
Click here to hear the song.