Jay-Z’s mom opened up about what it was like coming out to her son

On the D’USSE Friday podcast’s “The Gloria Carter Episode,” Jay-Z’s mom opened up about coming out to her son. Gloria Carter only relatively recently revealed to her family that she is a gay woman, but she said she had become tired of living under a “shroud of mystery.”

"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," Carter explained on the podcast.

Carter concealed her sexuality for most of her life, and when she came out to Jay, she said he teared up.

“So my son started actually tearing,” Carter continued. “He’s like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, ma.’ I was like, ‘My life was never horrible. It was just different.’”

The revelation inspired Jay-Z to write the song “Smile,” which premiered on his June album, 4:44. But Carter admitted that she initially wasn’t feeling the song when she first heard it.

Even so, Jay-Z’s “Smile” is a beautiful tribute to his mother’s journey and his love for the person she truly is — not the person she once had to pretend to be.  Jay-Z even included a monologue from Carter in the song to add another personal layer to the message. Carter states in the song,

"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 / You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you love.

Although Carter says that she lived in the shadows, she shared that she was never ashamed of who she was. She grew tired of the speculation and wanted to be her true self.

"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."

We’re so happy that Carter is finally able to live her truth, and that she’s surrounded by loved ones who support her all the way.