Tim Cook: I’m Proud to be Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook marched with his company at the San Francisco Pride Parade earlier this year. Credit: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook marched with his company at the San Francisco Pride Parade earlier this year. Credit: Apple

Good morning. It's Thursday, October 30th.

Here's what you should know today:

In a bold and inspiring Bloomberg Businessweek op-ed this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as openly gay.

Good Thursday morning to you. In an inspiring op-ed out this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals he’s proud to be gay.

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,” Cook writes. “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

Tim Cook succeeded Steve Jobs as the leader of the most prominent technology company in the world in 2011. Since then he has worked to expand gay rights both at Apple and across the United States, writing an op-ed last year calling on Congress to outlaw job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Receiving a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater last year, Cook gave a poignant speech at Auburn University on the personal discrimination he faced growing up in the south. He stopped just short of disclosing his sexual orientation then, and says today that coming out wasn’t an easy decision as privacy is important to him.

”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.”

You can watch Tim Cook’s 2013 remarks at Auburn University here:

Apple, like many other technology companies in the United States, has long celebrated diversity and the LGBT community. Tim Cook joined over 3,000 Apple employees participating in the San Francisco Pride Parade earlier this year. The company even released one of their signature videos for the event:

I’d like to close today on a personal note. As someone who loves both business and technology and has long looked for openly gay executives to look up to, Tim Cook’s decision to come out so boldly is hugely significant for me. Reading his op-ed this morning left me encouraged and profoundly inspired, and I hope everyone will find his commitment to social justice equally inspiring.

Drew Rapp

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