On Sunday night, she exchanged vows with her partner, Roxanne Wilshire, in a celebration in New York that brought out some big names. They included, of course, her son and daughter-in-law, Beyoncé, along with Blue Ivy, Tina Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and other stars like Tyler Perry, Robin Roberts and Corey Gamble, according to TMZ. The fête reportedly went until 1 a.m.
Jay-Z famously told his mother’s story in his track “Smile” from his 2017 album 4:44. At the end of the song, which samples Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love Today,” she shared a poem about her experience, noting the desire to stay in the closet for so long because of a fear of harm to her loved ones.
Living in the shadow/Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?
In the shadows people see you as happy and free/Because that’s what you want them to see/Living two lives, happy, but not free/You live in the shadows for fear of someone hurting your family or the person you love/
The world is changing and they say it’s time to be free/But you live with the fear of just being me/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/Smile
The rapper told David Letterman that her revelation of being a lesbian brought him to tears. “This was the first time we had the conversation,” he said in 2018 on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. “And the first time I heard her say she loved her partner. Like, ‘I feel like I love somebody.’ She said ‘I feel like.’ She held that little bit back, still. She didn’t say ‘I’m in love,’ she said ‘I feel like I love someone.’ And I just, I cried. I don’t even believe in crying because you’re happy. I don’t even know what that is. What is that?”
In her own rare interview, Gloria shared how she came out to her famous son.
“Me and my son, we 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,” she shared in 2017 on the short-lived D’USSE Friday podcast. “Besides your mother, this is the person that I am, you know? This is the life that I live.”