Tim Cook has written an editorial for Bloomberg Businessweek today which speaks frankly about his sexual orientation. "Let me be clear," he explains. "I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
In the editorial, Cook explains that he has "been open with many people" at Apple about his sexual orientation, adding that "it doesn't seem to make a difference in the way they treat" him. But, while he's never denied his sexuality, until now he's also never publicly acknowledged it either.
Cook points out that coming out wasn't an easy choice. "Privacy remains important to me," he writes. "And I'd like to hold on to a small amount of it." But he suggests that his primary motivation is to set an example:
"Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation... I don't consider myself an activist. But I realise 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."
He points to an increasingly progressive America — one where moving toward marriage equality, one where senior public figures increasingly acknowledge that they're gay — and explains that his decision is a choice to help maintain its momentum. Interestingly, it also seems that Cook approached Businessweek with the idea for the piece — and already had copy written ahead of time.
Apple, of course, has always celebrated diversity and equality: it takes part in Pride; last year Cook urged US Congress to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act; and, as Cook points out in his editorial, it campaigned in Arizona when the state passed a bill discriminating against the gay community.
"We'll continue to fight for our values," writes Cook. "And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up." High five, Tim. High five.