Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday made a surprising announcement in an opinion piece on Bloomberg Businessweek, which is very much in line with his many public notes in the recent past about diversity at the workplace. “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,” Cook said in the essay.
The executive admitted that he never hid his sexual orientation while working at Apple, even though he had not publicly declared it until now.
“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,” Cook said.
At the same time, the CEO of one of the most valuable companies in the world says that being gay was “tough and uncomfortable at times,” but it helped him understand “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 also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple,” Cook said.
“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,” Cook wrote in the essay. “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.”