Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, has finally confirmed publicly on Thursday that he is indeed gay.
Cook confessed in an essay to BusinessWeek and said…
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.
Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.
Earlier this week, Cook openly criticized his home state of Alabama for its failure to advance LGBT rights. He said that the state was still “too slow on equality for the LGBT community.”
Most may not find this news shocking as Cook was never trying to conceal his sexuality and it’s an known fact to certain media circles for years. Out magazine even placed him as America’s most powerful gay person in a 2011 issue.
The official coming out of Cook, who took the reins of the world’s most valuable company from the late co-founder Steve Jobs, may help further change the landscape of Corporate America that has long been dominated by heterosexual white men.
Cook went on to say, “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.”