The CEO of Apple, one of the most watched companies, came out publicly as gay in an essay about equality written to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Tim Cook says he has never denied his sexuality, but has kept his private life out of the public domain, until today. His choice wasn’t an easy one, he says, as privacy is highly important to him. However, after realizing how much benefit the sacrifices of others has brought him, he decided to speak up, hoping that he can bring “comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality”.
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.
You may recall that earlier this year Apple employees took part on the 44th annual Pride parade, and in 2013, the company even issued a statement in which expressed its support of the gay marriage rulings.