Apple CEO Tim Cooks Talks Diversity, Decision to Come Out in New Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for a new interview focused on diversity, his decision to come out, and more.

“I have not regretted it for one minute. Not at all,” Cook said in an interview with People En Español that has been translated into English.

Five years ago this week, Cook publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation for the first time in an 800-word essay posted on Bloomberg. He said at the time that he wanted to use his position as the leader of one of the world’s most valuable companies to spotlight the discrimination minorities face.

In the original letter, first published in Bloomberg, Cook wrote:

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.

Looking back on that decision, Cook said he relied on advice from others, such as CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. The process took the Apple CEO over a year, he explains:

My style is when I’m doing something complex that I’ve never done before, I always try to make a list of those people who have come before and approach this point.

There’s been a lot of people that came before me that made it possible for me to sit here today, and I needed to do something to help those people that were in a younger generation. It probably took a year between getting the words exactly like I wanted and picking the right time for the company, because I didn’t want it to be a distraction and so forth.

Cook said that his decision to come out as gay was motivated by a desire to help younger people who sent him notes about their struggles with their own sexual orientation. Many were dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts and parental banishment, he said.

“Obviously I couldn’t talk to each one individually that reached out, but you always know if you have people reaching out to you that there’s many more that don’t, that are just out there wondering whether they have a future or not, wondering whether life gets better … From there I really decided,” he said.

Since coming out, Cook has often spoken out against anti-LGBT legislation, and his name was featured on Alabama’s anti-discrimination bill. In 2018, Cook was the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s first Courage Against Hate award, which recognizes individuals who champion unity, diversity and social progress.

Cook’s full interview can be read over on the People en Español website.

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