Hear Jay-Z’s Mom Detail the Moment She Came Out to Her Son: He ‘Started Tearing’

Jay-Z's mother Gloria Carter discussed her decision to come out publicly on her son's '4:44' track, "Smile." Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Jay-Z and his mother Gloria Carter

*Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter, has opened up about coming out as a lesbian to her son during an interview on the D’ussé Friday podcast.

“Me and my son share a lot of information, so I was sitting there and I was telling him one day, I just finally started telling him who I was,” Gloria said. “Besides your mother, this is the person that I am, this is the life that I live. So my son actually started tearing, because he was like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, Ma.’ And I was like, ‘My life was never horrible, it was just different.’ So that made him want to do a song about it.”

Gloria also spoke about her anxiety surrounding the release of Jay-Z’s “4:44” track “Smile,” which reveals her sexuality to the world.

But during a plane trip to visit her son, she had a change of heart. She said she felt compelled to help her son with the track and wrote a poem called “Living in the Shadows” that she ended up reading on the song.

“When I got there I was like, ‘I’m gonna help you along,'” Carter said. “I said, ‘Look at this,’ and he was like, ‘Wow, you wrote this on the plane?’ So I said, ‘Yeah,’ and he said, ‘Start reading it.’ So I started reading it and he was taping me – I taped it on the phone!”

Carter said she refrained from coming out for so long not out of self-protection, but because she was worried her status as Jay-Z’s son might lead to inaccurate rumors about her dating life that would potentially hurt other women and families.

“I was never ashamed of me, but my family, it was something that was never discussed,” she said. “Because everybody knows who I am, I don’t hide who I am … I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to ’em. I don’t have to worry about anybody wondering whether I’m in the life or not – I’m gonna tell them.” She added: “Now it’s time for me to be live my life and be happy, be free.”

Listen to Gloria’s interview below. Remarks about her experience coming out begin around the 25:45 mark.

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