Diana Ross Didn't Know 'I'm Coming Out' Was 'A Gay Thing'


Diana Ross didn’t realize she was making a gay anthem when she recorded “I’m Coming Out” in 1979, says the man who co-wrote the track.

“She didn’t understand that that was a gay thing, that that was a person saying, ‘I’m coming out of the closet,’” recalled famed producer Nile Rodgers. “She didn’t even get that.”

Rodgers told the New York Post he was inspired to write the track after seeing Diana Ross impersonators in the bathroom of a Manhattan nightclub.

Ross sings: “The time has come for me / to break out of the shell / I have to shout / That I'm coming out.”

The singer only learned about the empowering song’s other meaning after previewing it for an influential radio host. “He thought that that would be Diana saying that she was gay,” Rodgers said.

He convinced Ross that it would become the song she opened her concerts with for the rest of her career.

“I’m Coming Out” was the second single off the album Diana, which was released on May 22, 1980. It remains Ross’ most successful album.

Artist Radio

Listen to music from Diana Ross & Nile Rodgers

  • Never Dance Alone-A-Thon

    On Sunday, May 31 2020, join us in the Never Dance Alone-A-Thon powered by BMO! Let’s dance together to uplift our youth and ensure they never feel alone. Funds raised through the Never Dance Alone-A-Thon powered by BMO will allow us to keep our promise to always be there for young people. To learn more and join the movement for youth mental health and well-being across Canada, visit the Never Dance Alone-A-Thon powered by BMO website.
  • JDRF House ParT1D for a Cure

    In the new reality of physical distancing, JDRF is bringing Canadians together to unite, get loud and raise funds to accelerate the pace of type 1 diabetes research – all from home. The JDRF House ParT1D for a Cure, presented by Omnipod, will take place on Sunday, June 14, 2020, and is Canada’s largest virtual house party turning type one diabetes into type none. This one-day, family-friendly, virtual and interactive house party will feature guests such as NHL player Max Domi and Canadian country superstar George Canyon. It will be a day filled with live streaming entertainment, inspirational stories, updates from research experts and more.