Gloria Carter, best known to the public as the mother of hip-hop legend Jay-Z, married her partner Roxanne Wiltshire during a downtown bash in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City on July 1.
As befits the mother of rap royalty, the event was an A-list affair, boasting big-name guests like news anchor Robin Roberts, movie mogul Tyler Perry and, of course, Beyoncé.
Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) has been vocal about supporting his mom since she came out to him in 2017. In a 2018 interview with David Letterman, Jay revealed that he’d known his mom was gay, but until that moment, she’d never told him directly.
“I mean, I really cried,” said Jay in the interview. “I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free.”
He also said that Carter kept her sexual orientation secret to protect her kids. The experience led him to write a song for his mom, titled “Smile.” And then he invited Carter to join him on the track. This song, which was released as part of the album “4:44,” marked Carter’s coming out.
The end of the song features Carter reading her own poetry about living in the closet — and coming out later in life. Here’s the official version:
“The world is changing and it’s time to be free/But you live with the fear of just being me,” her lyrics go. “But life is short and it’s time to be free/Love who you love because life isn’t guaranteed/Smile.”
Later in 2018, LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD honored Carter for her performance with a special recognition at their Media Awards.
“One day, I met someone who made my heart sing, made me no longer want to sneak a peek at them but actually look at them with loving eyes,” Carter said from the stage, People reports. “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.”
Once again, love wins. Congratulations to the happy couple!