Song Spotlight: “I’m Coming Out”

Rainbow flag, with horizontal stripes in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Song spotlights genre tag reads "disco/funk/soul"
  • Mood: Celebratory
  • Themes: Pride, 1980s, Disco
  • Tempo: Moderate
  • Genre/Style: Disco/Funk/Soul

June marks LGBTQIA2s+ Pride month every year, to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which was a significant turning point for the gay liberation movement in the United States. Pride celebrations can involve many things, from learning more about the history of Pride, attending Pride parades, donating to LGBTQIA+ organizations, and more.

“I’m Coming Out” was written in 1980 after Diana Ross brought her daughters to a Chic concert and fell in love with the music. She commissioned Chic founders Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards to create new music for her album. The duo wrote the song specifically with the LBGTQIA+ community in mind, inspired by drag queens dressed as Diana Ross. At first, Diana Ross was unsure whether she would release the song, but with encouragement from Rogers and Edwards she did. Diana Ross has used the song as her opening song at her concerts since its release. 

“I’m Coming Out” has been regarded as an anthem for the LGBTQIA+ community. The phrase “coming out” describes self disclosure of things from sexual orientation to gender identity. The term comes from the late 19th and early 20th century gay culture where gay men spoke of “coming out” into gay society, likening the debut to the traditional debutante practice of elite young women coming out into high society. Over the years the phrase has deepened in meaning, even being used in celebration as well as protest. The song can be interpreted as a celebration of identity and the encouragement of self-disclosure. Find out more about the history of coming out here.

This is a great song to use in a 1:1 setting or group and would go well with a collection of songs that celebrate Pride, are from the 1980s, or come from the disco genre. This song would be great for singing, movement and instrument play. 

Try This:

Theme This song would fit well into a collection of songs about disco, celebrations, and self-discovery.  Other complementary songs may include “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” “Take On Me,” and “Somebody to Love.”

Have a discussion about ways to celebrate each other and support one another. 

Sing along with this well known song. Display or print out the lyrics if desired. 

Choreograph a dance to do along with the song or dance as inspired in the moment.

Play shakers or percussion instruments along with this song.

For more song spotlights, visit our Song Spotlights page.

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