Jay-Z’s mom delivers emotional speech at GLAAD Media Awards

Jay-Z’s mom Gloria Carter gave an emotional and moving speech as she was honored at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York on Saturday

Carter accepted a special recognition award from Robin Roberts for her contribution to Jay’s song “Smile” from his album “4:44.”

In her speech, Carter discussed the love and support she got from her son when she came out to him as gay.

She said: “’Smile’ became a reality because I shared with my son who I am… For me that was the first time I spoke to anyone about who I really am, 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.”

Describing when she first met her 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… I am a human being who has a right to love who I love. So everybody, just smile, be free.”

In his song “Smile,” Jay-Z, tells of Gloria’s struggle and of his unwavering love for her: “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.”

Gloria is also heard on the song stating: “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. Living two lives, happy, but not free. …But life is short, and it’s time to be free. Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed. Smile.”

In an interview with David Letterman for his Netflix show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” Jay-Z reflected: “Imagine having lived your life for someone else. And you think you’re protecting your kids. 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.”

Samira Wiley and Ava DuVernay were also honored at the GLAAD event, hosted by Ross Mathews at the New York Hilton.

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