Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) chief executive Tim Cook has for the first time publicly come out as gay. In an essay published on Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook said that he was “proud to be gay.” he added that being gay was one of the “greatest gifts” God has given him. Though Tim Cook’s sexual orientation wasn’t really a secret, it’s the first time he has publicly acknowledged it.
Fight against discrimination
Cook noted that he relaxed his personal privacy to help others against discrimination. Majority of the states allow employers to fire employees on the basis of their sexual orientation. In many places, landlords evict tenants for being gay. Sometimes they are even prohibited from visiting sick partners. Tim Cook said it wasn’t an activist. But his official confirmation could inspire some people to insist on their equality. If it can bring comfort to someone, it is worth the trade-off with his privacy.
What’s more, Tim Cook said in the essay that he wanted the story to be about equality, rather than his personal life. Being gay taught him what it means to be in the minority. It provided him a deeper understanding of challenges that other minority groups deal with every day. Knowing that Apple CEO is gay should give the community strength to rise above bigotry and adversity.
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Tim Cook compromised on his privacy to do something more important
Tim Cook said he frequently challenges himself with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “What are you doing for others?” It made him realize that his desire for privacy had been holding him back from doing something more important. Many of his colleagues at Apple already know he is gay. But it never made a difference in the way they treat their chief executive.
Cook said he will continue to fight for equality, irrespective of race, gender, background or sexual orientation. Tim Cook made similar comments a few days ago at an Alabama Academy of Honor speech.