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There's a New Me Coming Out

I’m an Eighties Lady who grew up listening to the original episodes of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 Countdown. The annual countdown of the year’s Top 100 was always a New Year treat. Imagine my delight this January 1 when I discovered a local radio station playing the rerun of Casey Kasem’s Top 100 songs of 1981. Somewhere around #51 or 52 or something, my daughter walked in and asked, “what does she want the world to know?”

The “she” was Diana Ross singing “I’m Coming Out.” The question was a stumper for me. I had no idea what the song was about. I just remember singing the catchy chorus, “I’m coming out. I want the world to know. Got to let it show. I’m coming out.” I’d never really paid attention to the lyrics but had assumed Diana wanted the world to know she was in love with someone. After all, aren’t most songs about love? Of course, the term “coming out” has also morphed into a shortened phrase for coming out of the closet about sexual orientation, but that wasn’t a common phrase in 1981. So, what did Diana want the world to know?

I asked Alexa to play the song and focused on the verses. I was stunned to discover the song is really about self-appreciation and taking bold steps forward. In verse one, Diana sang:

“There’s a new me coming out

And I just had to live

And I wanna give

I’m completely positive

I think this time around

I am gonna do it

Like you never do it

Like you never knew it

Ooh, I’ll make it through

The time has come for me

To break out of the shell

I have to shout

That I’m coming out.”

I danced and sang along through the chorus, then shut up to listen to the second verse:

“I’ve got to show the world

All that I wanna be

And all my abilities

There’s so much more to me

Somehow, I have to make them

Just understand

I got it well in hand

And, oh, how I’ve planned

I’m spreadin’ love

There’s no need to fear

And I just feel so glad

Everytime I hear:

I’m coming out

I want the world to know

Got to let it show

I’m coming out

I want the world to know

I got to let it show[i]

So now we know, Diana wanted the world to know that she’s a kick-ass woman with a lot to offer. Can you relate?

It’s common to choose a word for the year. Mine is consistency. My friend Gayle’s is renewal. I like having a theme word for the year. In the past I’ve chosen a guiding scripture for the year as well. Last year, as I was completing classes to graduate with a doctorate in strategic leadership and writing my final project, I thought of another great '80s classic song as my mantra, Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.” When I really listened and heard the message of Diana’s “I’m Coming Out”, I thought what a perfect lyrical mantra this song would be for 2022.

I have taken off my full-time student cap and traded it for a CEO beret. I’ve done a lot of planning, I’ve got it well in hand, and I’m coming out of my shell, showcasing all of my abilities. I want the world to know, Dr. Guyla Greenly is spreading the love and shedding the fear. I’m here to help you come out and transform your wishes into reality. Are you ready to join me?


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