Gloria Carter, AKA Jay-Z’s mom, will receive a Special Recognition Award from GLAAD for her coming out story, which was a part of her son’s 2017 song, “Smile.”
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian. Cried tears of joy when you fell in love/Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
Last month, Jay-Z appeared on My Guest Needs No Introduction with host David Letterman where he spoke about the joy he felt when his mom came out to him.
“Imagine having lived your life for someone else,” he told Letterman. “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. And 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.”
In June 2017, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis tweeted her support of Carter, thanking her for “increasing visibility for lesbian women of color.”
By sharing her truth, Gloria Carter is increasing visibility of lesbian women of color at a critical time. Thank you, Gloria. ❤️ https://t.co/MixUAOu02N
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) June 30, 2017
According to Billboard, “Carter will take the stage to speak on the impact that coming out as a woman of color had on her life, her family and the world at large.”
“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.”
Carter will be honored alongside two other black women: Director Ava DuVernay, who will received the Excellence in Media Award, and out actress Samira Wiley, who will receive the Vito Russo Award.
Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage