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Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 30 Oct 2014 14:22 User comments (10)

Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay' Although it has been rumored since he took over the helm of the world's biggest tech company following the passing of founder Steve Jobs, Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally confirmed he is gay, posting an encouraging article on BusinessWeek.
I will post the article here in its entirety and without comment except to say that it refreshing to see someone in power share their experiences with the hope that it helps others in the daily lives.

Says Cook:

Throughout my professional life, I've tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don't seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.

At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' " I often challenge myself with that question, and I've come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That's what has led me to today.

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.

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.

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.

The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.

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.

I'll admit that this wasn't an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I'd like to hold on to a small amount of it. I've made Apple my life's work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That's what our employees deserve--and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one's sexuality, race, or gender. I'm an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I'm best suited for and the work that brings me joy.

The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We've taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California. And we spoke up in Arizona when that state's legislature passed a discriminatory bill targeting the gay community. We'll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same. And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.

When I arrive in my office each morning, I'm greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don't pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I'm doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

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10 user comments

130.10.2014 21:21

Who cares, "I'm straight"... write an article about the hard times I had not having a girlfriend until my senior year in high school, never went to prom, lost my virginity during the end of my senior year in high school, then married the girl, and purchased Apple products later in life, and hopefully one day become innovator like Steve Jobs.

What? Your not interested in my story, well I'm not interested in hearing about Tim Cook being gay (we already knew he was) and he waited so perfectly for iPhone 6/6+ and iPad to release before making this statement. It's just a market gimmick to keep Apple in the headlines.

All though I love my new iPhone 6+, I hate the marketing scams that Apple does by thinking we are too dumb to realize what's really going on.

230.10.2014 22:41

nice article but honestly i would have just kept it to yourself not saying that being proud of who you are is a bad thing but by coming out of the closet in this manner makes people now judge you and your actions which is never cool

331.10.2014 2:16

just curious, how exactly was Steve Jobs an innovator? I thought confining users to set boundaries as to what they could and couldn't do within your proprietary policing software and repackaging the same product with different names was the exact opposite of innovative.. or were we just going off Time Magazines cover?

431.10.2014 5:29

If I were Tim I would hang my head in shame for the way Crapple mistreat employees of Foxconn & the taxpayers of America. Who gives a shit about his/her sexlife!


531.10.2014 17:02

Originally posted by Menion:
just curious, how exactly was Steve Jobs an innovator? I thought confining users to set boundaries as to what they could and couldn't do within your proprietary policing software and repackaging the same product with different names was the exact opposite of innovative.. or were we just going off Time Magazines cover?
Wow, sounds like you read the same Time article I read... sarcasm *wink *wink. Just in case you don't get it in this post and you didn't get it in my original post.

61.11.2014 5:55

I thought it was a nicely said and im proud of him for saying it. And yes, it is a silly notion that someone of his age and stature would publicly discuss his sex life, but it is understandable in the current times.

71.11.2014 10:37


82.11.2014 17:11

Yes, it shouldn't be any big deal and nobody should have to announce such personal details about themselves, but when so many still consider it not normal and something to be ashamed of (and deserving of repression), the more it is seen as common and normal, the more the negative/hateful thinking goes away. Of course, many older people dying off helps too! ;-)

94.11.2014 15:34

Tim Cook should be join The Harvard University that "Proudly" offers ‘Anal Sex 101’ classes:


Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

109.11.2014 19:47

It's pretty silly to be proud of being gay or straight or black or white or any other thing that you have absolutely no control of. Be proud of your parents for hooking up and giving you the genes that you enjoy having, but you played no part in it, so no reason to be proud of it.

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