Gloria Carter, Jay-Z’s mom was honored at the 2018 GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday (May 5).
Carter received the Special Recognition Award for her guest contribution to Jay-Z’s song “Smile” off his Grammy nominated album “4:44” in which she reveals her sexuality.
News Anchor Robin Roberts, who also identifies as a Lesbian introduced Carter. Carter stated while receiving her award that “‘Smile’ became a reality because I shared with my son who I am, not that people didn’t know. I was just someone they didn’t talk about but they loved me anyway,” she told attendees mid-speech. “But, to me, this was the first time that I spoke to anyone about who I really am. My son cried and said, ‘It must’ve been horrible, to live that way for so long.’ My life wasn’t horrible. I chose to protect my family from ignorance. I was happy, but I was not free. Then, one day, I met someone that made my heart sing, that made me no longer want to sneak a peek at them, but actually look at them with loving eyes.”
In an emotional closing to her speech Carter stated that “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,” she continued. “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. So everybody, just smile, be free.”