One Equal World

Tim Cook Comes Out Publicly as Gay

Posted on: November 6, 2014

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Apple CEO comes out as gay. 360b / Shutterstock.com

Coming out after years of silence, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in an article that he is “proud” to be gay. Cook acknowledges that although his sexual orientation has not been a secret to many people at Apple, he had never before spoken publicly about this facet of his identity.

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,” Cook wrote for Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “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 becomes the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, according to gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign, which applauded the Apple heavyweight’s essay. “Tim Cook’s announcement today will save countless lives,” says HRC President Chad Griffin. “He has always been a role model, but today millions across the globe will draw inspiration from a different aspect of his life.”

Three days before the announcement, the Apple CEO was in his home state of Alabama delivering a speech that talked about ambitions not previously associated with the tech company. He also used the occasion to challenge Alabama’s bedrock conservatism on a variety of controversial topics like race, poverty and discrimination against homosexuality.

“As a state, we took too long to step toward equality,” he said. “We were too slow on equality for African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage and we are still too slow on equality for the LGBT community.” Cook went into detail about his coming out in an essay to Bloomberg Businessweek. His courage and ability to share his own experiences publicly will undoubtedly influence others to do the same.

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