20 essential songs for your Pride Month playlist

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“I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross

If you have to ask why a song titled “I’m Coming Out” is a Pride anthem, you might be on the wrong page.

Diana Ross has always been a larger than life personality. She has a big voice and even bigger hair to match that big personality, so she was destined to be a star. This confident diva became a favorite among gay men, especially drag queens, and that’s how the song “I’m Coming Out” came to be.

Nile Rodgers, of Chic, wrote the song for Diana Ross back in the 1970s. He was hanging out at a gay club (because the gay clubs in New York had the best underground music) when he saw three different drag queens impersonating Diana Ross. He was inspired by the idea of picturing Diana Ross coming out of the closet.

Thanks to Rodgers’ inspired idea, Diana Ross was hailed as a gay icon. Even though the song doesn’t explicitly talk about coming out of the closet — since Diana Ross isn’t actually a gay man — Rodgers said he imagined it was Ross’ coming out to society as a new artist after her departure from Motown. Whatever the lyrics were intended to mean, they were still open for interpretation, and the LGBTQ community recognized their significance.

“I’m Coming Out” has been an anthem (and a drag queen favorite) ever since. The song is about letting the world know you’re not ashamed of who you are (“I’m coming out, I want the world to know, I got to let it show.”). If that doesn’t scream “HAPPY PRIDE” what does?