For years now, Apple has been at the forefront of growth and change when it comes to technology, and now the company is finding itself at the forefront when it comes to diversity thanks to CEO Tim Cook, who recently came out as gay.
Cook opened up about his sexuality in a new essay published in the Bloomberg Businessweek, saying that he’s been open about his sexuality for years.
“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,” Cook said.
And though others may see his sexuality as negative mark on his character, Cook explains that he feels being gay is nothing short of amazing.
“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 explained.
“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.”
Although Cook says he’d like to keep some semblance of privacy now that he’s out to the world, he explains that it’s worth losing some of his privacy if it means helping someone else come out and feel proud about being LGBT.
“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,” Cook shared.
We applaud Cook for sharing his personal life with the world, and we’ve no doubt that many other LGBT people are now looking at him as a source of inspiration and hope. – nicholas robinson