Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij Reflects On Coming Out

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day and to mark the occasion, Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij reflected on his own story in an Instagram post. Batmanglij shares how Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear was something of an inspiration to him, because Droste was always so open about his own sexuality. Along with a picture of them, Batmanglij describes his own process of deciding to come out in an interview with Rolling Stone. This was a brave, beautiful thing to share, and kudos to Batmanglij for celebrating it in this way. Read the post below.

A photo posted by Rostam Batmanglij (@matsor) on

Here’s the caption:

Here is a pic of me and @edroste from 2009. I met Ed when our bands were both playing a festival somewhere in Europe earlier that year. At that point I was out to friends and family but not out yet in press. Ed was someone who had always been out. Before I ever heard Grizzly Bear’s music I had read a super-candid interview w him in Butt Magazine. I was like, “who is this guy, he JDGAF!” (And that is still true to this day.) But Ed’s candor inspired me. Having him as a friend bolstered my courage to come out in press—something I had always intended to do.

In October of 2009 Josh Eells profiled VW for Rolling Stone; it was the first time someone wanted to write an article about our lives. And it was also the first time someone had been able to hear Diplomat’s Son from Contra, —a song I had started on my own w the intention of telling a gay story. The timing felt right and I felt I could trust Josh, so in a phone interview with him I talked about being gay with a journalist for the first time.

The album and the article wouldn’t come out for another two and a half months and I’m pretty sure this picture was taken somewhere in that period. It was a strange time in my life.

looking back on things, it felt so important to have ‘reasons’ to come out. but in fact, what I’d really like to do is to work towards living in a world where people don’t feel they need ‘reasons’ to come out. and I think in the last six years I’ve felt this change in the world around me and I hope to feel more of it. all of which is to say #happycomingoutday