Diana Ross Didn’t Realize ‘I’m Coming Out’ Was A Gay Thing at First
According to a recent interview with composers Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the men behind Diane Ross’s megahit “I’m Coming Out,” the iconic singer didn’t realize that the phrase “coming out” was a gay thing.
“For two days she told us her life story as if we were writing a magazine article,” Nile told the NY Post. “And then we went and we wrote the album. Basically, the reason why it’s just [called] Diana is it’s a documentary.”
Nile added that he was inspired to write the song during a visit to the bathroom of transgender nightclub GG’s Barnum Room in New York City where he noticed a bunch of Diana impersonators.
“All of a sudden a lightbulb goes off in my head,” he explained. “I had to go outside and call Bernard from a telephone booth. I said, ‘Bernard, please write down the words: ‘I’m coming out.’ And then I explained the situation to him.”
Apparently, Diana “immediately loved the song” and connected to the lyrics about someone breaking “out of their shell.”
“But [Diana] didn’t understand that that was a gay thing, that that was a person saying, I’m coming out of the closet. She didn’t even get that,” he quipped.
Whether she realized it or not, the song that sold over 10 million copies world wide in 1980 has become a LGBTQ anthem. Thanks Di!