JAY-Z's mum Gloria Carter thanked her family for supporting her after she came out as gay during her acceptance speech at the GLAAD Media Awards.

The rapper's mum was chosen as the recipient of the Special Recognition Award by officials of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for coming out publicly as a lesbian on her son's track Smile last year (17).

She picked up the honour in New York City on Saturday (05May18) and praised her nearest and dearest for their support in a moving acceptance speech.

"I accept it with pride and joy on behalf of my son and myself. Thanks to my family for loving me unconditionally, no matter what," she said. "Thanks to my partner, for loving me and helping me free myself from being in the shadows. Thanks to you, to all the people whose lives I touched, for your support, by just telling my truth."

She explained that Smile, in which JAY-Z raps, "Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian", came about because she finally spoke to her son about her sexuality - even though other people already knew.

"This was the first time that I spoke to anyone about who I really am. My son cried and said, 'It must have 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," she continued.

Gloria recalled how she met someone who made her "heart sing" and it gave her the courage to reveal her secret "that wasn't really a secret."

"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. Thank you, and God bless," she concluded.

Other winners at the Media Awards included Ava DuVernay, who took home the Excellence in Media Award and Samira Wiley, who won the Vito Russo Award. Meanwhile, Call Me By Your Name was named Outstanding Film and Halsey was honoured with the Outstanding Music Artist gong.

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