Gloria Carter appeared on the D’USSE Friday podcast with one of her grandsons,opened up for the first time about coming out as a lesbian on Jay-Z’s “Smile.”
“It depends on how you look at it because I’ve always had press, even when I didn’t want it,” she noted, talking about the negative aspects of being related to a star. “My haters are my motivators.”
Calling 4:44 “an amazing album,” Gloria went on to talk about coming out to Jay-Z, which inspired the track.
“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,” she said. “So my son started actually tearing. He’s like, ‘That had to be a horrible life, ma’. I was like, my life was never horrible. It was just different. So that made him want to do a song about it.”
Gloria admitted to being hesitant about the song at first, saying, “The first time I heard the song I was like, ‘Eh, I don’t know, dude. I ain’t feeling that’…When it first happened, I was sharing myself with you, not sharing myself with the world.”
To help assuage her fears, Gloria penned an original poem, which she reads aloud on the track. Ultimately, she’s happy the song is out there, though she notes that she’s always been open with the people in her life about who she is.
“I was never ashamed of me,” she said. “I’m tired of all the mystery. I’m gonna give it to ‘em. 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.”
She went on to explain that she wants to be known for much more than simply her sexual orientation, saying, “That part of your life is a small part of your life. Heterosexuals don’t have to walk around talking about that.”
If you haven’t, listen check out Jay-Z’s anecdote about recording “Smile” with his mother’s permission here.