Watch Jay-Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, accept GLAAD Media Award with moving speech

“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 that wasn’t really a secret,” Carter said. Jay-Z may have 21 Grammy Awards to his credit, but now he and his mother share a special honor from GLAAD. “Here I am, I’m loving, I’m respectful, I’m productive, and I’m a human being who has a right to love who I love. Gloria Carter was on hand to accept a Special Recognition Award at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on Saturday. She and Jay-Z were honored for “Smile,” a track off his 4:44 album that addressed her publicly coming out as gay. Carter was presented with the award by another prominent gay woman, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. “‘Smile’ became a reality because I shared with my son who I am. Watch Carter’s full acceptance speech above. So everybody, just smile, be free. Thank you, and God bless.”
Released last June, “Smile” made headlines as Jay-Z paid tribute to his mother, her struggle, and her strength: “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.”
Carter closes out the song with a moving monologue of her own:
Living in the shadowCan you imagine what kind of life it is to live?In the shadows, people see you as happy and freeBecause that’s what you want them to seeLiving two lives, happy, but not freeYou live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you loveThe world is changing and they say it’s time to be freeBut you live with the fear of just being meLiving in the shadow feels like the safe place to beNo harm for them, no harm for meBut life is short, and it’s time to be freeLove who you love, because life isn’t guaranteedSmile 
Jay-Z previously said he “cried” and “was so happy” that his mother was finally “free” to be herself. Not that people didn’t know; I was just someone they didn’t talk about but they loved me anyway. But for me, this was the first time that I spoke to anyone about who I really am.”
She went on to discuss the profound effect that finding love had on her. “Thanks to you, to all the people whose lives I touched, for your support, by just telling my truth,” Carter said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *