Citing a desire to help others be more comfortable in their own skin, Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly revealed that he is gay.
In an eloquent piece for Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook writes:
For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve 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.
While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.
Cook says that he's always been a private person with "humble roots" – one that doesn't "seek to draw attention to myself." It is this that's prevented him from coming out in the past. Now, he explains, he's willing to give up his own privacy to be a lead figure for equality.
"I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. 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," he says.
Though Tim Cook has a history of supporting LGBT causes and was always open about his sexuality at Apple, he had never discussed it publicly until now.
"When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick."
Image via Apple