Apple CEO Tim Cook Publicly Discloses He Is Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been out to people in his personal and professional life, so it's not really right to say that he's come out, as if, previous to this statement, he's been not out. We tend to use language that treats coming out like an on/off switch, instead of acknowledging that it's an ongoing process of assessing one's safety and balancing it against the need for disclosure. He just hasn't previously made a public statement about being gay, which is something he doesn't owe the public.

But he decided to make one, anyway, and he explains why:
I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" I often challenge myself with that question, and I've come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That's what has led me to today.

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.

...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.

...I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.

When I arrive in my office each morning, I'm greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don't pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I'm doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.
There's much more at the link; Cook talks about how being gay has been a gift that has helped him be a more empathetic person, and it's definitely worth your time to read the whole thing.

This is my brick. I like that.

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And, yes, I realize that some of Apple's corporate practices are deeply exploitative and explicitly trade on the lack of equality among people globally. A valid and necessary criticism that needs to be made in places other than this thread on this day.

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