It’s been unspoken knowledge that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is gay, but in a thoughtful new essay written for Business Week, Cook comes out loud and proud!
He writes, “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
Mr. Cook says “never denied my sexuality,” but he hadn’t “publicly acknowledged it either, until now.” He explains this was because he wanted “to maintain a basic level of privacy,” and that he likes “keeping the focus on our [Apple] products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them” as opposed to drawing attention to himself.
He acknowledges he’s “had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.”
He credits his decision to go public with inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King, citing: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
Tim writes: “I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.”
While he doesn’t consider himself an ‘activist’, he realizes “how much much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others”, including “the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant.”
Still, “Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation,” he writes in Business Week. “So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”
Kudos to Tim for being such an inspiration to many.