In 1979, Diana Ross took her her daughters to see the band Chic in concert featuring Nile Rodgers on Guitar. It was hearing their songs that prompted Ross to commission Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards to create material for her new album.
The lyrics and specifically the title has many meanings. For Diana Ross “I’m Coming Out” refered to her leaving Motown records and “coming out” from under the rule of president Barry Gordy. Nile Rodgers, however, got the idea for for the song when he went to a gay club in New York City. He went to the bathroom, and while he was standing at the urinal, he saw three men who looked like Diana Ross. “Coming Out” for him meant coming out of the closet and being openly gay.