Jay-Z has packed his new album 4:44 to the brim with surprises, from possibly admitting he hooked up with Beyonce's much-maligned "Becky with the good hair" to chiding Halle Berry's ex-husband for losing her. But perhaps the biggest reveal of them all is that Jay's mother Gloria Carter is a lesbian, which she addresses with him by speaking on his song "Smile."
"The world is changing, and they say it's time to be free, but you live with the fear of just being me," she says on the song. "Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be. No harm for them, no harm for me. But life is short, and it's time to be free. Love who you love, because life isn't guaranteed."
Jay rhymes his support for Gloria, recognizing the toll it took on her to stay silent for most of her life.
"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."
Fans are using social media to appreciate the realness.
“Lesbian women are all too often erased or excluded from narratives surrounding LGBTQ people," Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. "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."
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