In a Bloomberg BusinessWeek essay published this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook affirmed that he is gay, something that had long been spoken of within the tech community (and sometimes accidentally in the mainstream media). In his own words:
Cook's decision to publicly discuss his sexuality was made despite his desire to maintain a modicum of privacy and keep the focus on Apple's products. In the final analysis, this was overcome by the realization that his story might serve to help others:
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.
You can read Cook's entire piece on the Bloomberg BusinessWeek website, where you can also see a video clip of his address in Alabama confronting his ancestral state's record on gay rights.
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.
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