JAY-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, came out as a lesbian on “Smile,” a track off of J’s new album 4:44.
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/ Cried tears of joy when you fell in love/ Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her“.
The poetic outro of the track is a recording of Gloria talking about her struggle and decision to “be free.” “Love who you love” she says, “because life isn’t guaranteed. Smile.”
GLAAD, whose goals are to promote understanding, increase acceptance, and advance equality for the LGBTQ community, tweeted about Gloria’s news.
GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis released the following statement: “Lesbian women are all too often erased or excluded from narratives surrounding LGBTQ people. By sharing her truth with the world, Gloria Carter is increasing visibility of lesbian women of color at a critical time and sending a powerful message of empowerment to the entire LGBTQ community that is perfectly timed with the end of Pride Month.”
Stream 4:44 on Tidal now.
This story originally appeared on Billboard.