'I'm proud to be gay,' Apple CEO Tim Cook says in open letter supporting equality

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook published a letter on Thursday revealing that while it wasn't an "easy choice," he's decided to publicly announce that he is "proud to be gay," and that it has given him perspective on what it means to be a minority.




In the essay published by Bloomberg, Cook said he's been open about his sexual orientation for years with friends and colleagues, but coming out publicly has been a difficult decision. But recently, he's realized that his desire for privacy has held him back from "doing something more important."
"(Being gay has) given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO of Apple." - Tim Cook
"While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now," Cook wrote. "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 used the revelation to talk about how America has changed over the years in how it views gay people and relationships, and said that public figures coming out has helped to change American culture to be more tolerant. But he also decried existing intolerant laws in the U.S. that can lead to the persecution of people based solely on their sexual orientation.

He said that while privacy remains important to him and the decision to come out wasn't an "easy choice," he hopes that hearing the CEO of Apple is gay might help someone else who is struggling with their own identity.

"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," Cook wrote. "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."

Tim Cook


While Cook hasn't spoken publicly about his own sexual orientation before Thursday, he has openly championed equality during his tenure as the CEO of Apple. Just this month, he spoke on human rights issues in his home state of Alabama, and compared its slow progress on rights for the LGBT community with the country's long struggle to reach racial and gender equality.

Cook was first profiled as the "most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley" by a publication back in 2011, discussing what has been something of an open secret despite the fact that he had not, at the time, chosen to publicly disclose his sexual orientation. And earlier this year, a television anchor inadvertently "outed" Cook as gay.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 650
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    I'd be proud to be happy too if I had achieved as much as Tim.
  • Reply 2 of 650

    Next week in Korea Times, "I'm gay too" - Samsung

  • Reply 3 of 650
    mubailimubaili Posts: 442member
    Thanks Tim. You just made the world a bit better today.
  • Reply 4 of 650
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Who cares. Everyone knew he was gay and nobody cared. Tim's sexuality has nothing to do with being CEO of Apple. Coming out is just more of a distraction than anything else.
  • Reply 5 of 650
    jonoromjonorom Posts: 293member
    Thanks, Tim.
  • Reply 6 of 650
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    Next week in Korea Times, "I'm gay too" - Samsung


    Brilliant!

    Microsoft are looking into reverse bioengineering Satya Nadella and Google are will claim their Gays were there first and work better and can be monetized if tracked.
  • Reply 7 of 650
    Well done and well said.
    We need more role models like Tim Cook.
  • Reply 8 of 650
    rogifan wrote: »
    Who cares. Everyone knew he was gay and nobody cared. Tim's sexuality has nothing to do with being CEO of Apple. Coming out is just more of a distraction than anything else.

    Yep. He's becoming a bit of a distraction lately, Steve was bigger than Apple because of all the tech stuff he'd done. If he spoke out, it was on a technical issue like Flash or DRM. Tim seems to see Apple as some sort of political engine.
  • Reply 9 of 650

    Obviously a competent CEO, he seems like a pretty decent human being too.

  • Reply 10 of 650
    blitz1blitz1 Posts: 413member
    I'm not sure if one has to be proud of being gay, or staight for that matter.

    I live in a country that allowed same-gender mariages as one of the first countries in the world. The reaction of my kids is priceless when they are "confronted" with gays, lesbians, .. Their reaction is "so what?"

    Still, I hope TCs outing can help the holebi's in the US and help advance legislation.
  • Reply 11 of 650
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

     

    Next week in Korea Times, "I'm gay too" - Samsung




    Already one of the best comments ever!

  • Reply 12 of 650
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    "It's also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO of Apple."

    Priceless!!
  • Reply 13 of 650
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Yep. He's becoming a bit of a distraction lately, Steve was bigger than Apple because of all the tech stuff he'd done. If he spoke out, it was on a technical issue like Flash or DRM. Tim seems to see Apple as some sort of political engine.



    I fully agree and am a bit confused by this as well. He talks too much political issues, but rarely (except keynotes, of course) technical issues. Although I agree with Tim's political views – that's not why I want to listen to him.

  • Reply 14 of 650
    Remarkable moment in the history of corporate America. This is a game-changer.

    He's truly bold, and my hats off to him. The company's in very good hands, sir.
  • Reply 15 of 650

    Now I know.

  • Reply 16 of 650
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Yep. He's becoming a bit of a distraction lately, Steve was bigger than Apple because of all the tech stuff he'd done. If he spoke out, it was on a technical issue like Flash or DRM. Tim seems to see Apple as some sort of political engine.

    For me it's all about the distraction. Tim needs more laser focus on products and less on social/political issues. Everyone knew he was gay and no one cared so why create the distraction, especially if you value your privacy?
  • Reply 17 of 650
    totaltotal Posts: 83member
    does he have boyfriend or not?
  • Reply 18 of 650
    rogifan wrote: »
    For me it's all about the distraction. Tim needs more laser focus on products and less on social/political issues. Everyone knew he was gay and no one cared so why create the distraction, especially if you value your privacy?

    Plus, this won't help in Apple's attempts to sell in the Middle East or to those whose religious views will now dictate they not buy Apple products.
  • Reply 19 of 650
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    macapfel wrote: »

    I fully agree and am a bit confused by this as well. He talks too much political issues, but rarely (except keynotes, of course) technical issues. Although I agree with Tim's political views – that's not why I want to listen to him.

    As long as Tim can continue to be a brilliant and effective business leader - which he himself emphasizes is his overriding focus in life - I have no problem at all with how and where he chooses to express the values he feels should underpin society and Apple's place in the world. His company and our country are the better for it.
  • Reply 20 of 650
    Remarkable moment in the history of corporate America. This is a game-changer.

    He's truly bold, and my hats off to him. The company's in very good hands, sir.

    Hear! Hear!

    And thanks to Steve Jobs for placing Tim in the position to realize his full potential as CEO of Apple -- the greatest corporate organization in the world!
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