In news that may have come as a surprise to some, CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, has finally opened up about his sexual orientation, and come out as gay.
In an essay Cook penned, published in Business Week magazine yesterday, the normally reserved and utterly private head of Apple opened up, blatantly, about his sexual orientation for the first time.
In the article, Cook says that he is proud to be gay, and considers it being one of the greatest gifts in his life:
“I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,”
He further explained that, while he never really hid his sexual orientation from anyone, he is a very private person. Although, he did say that most of his colleagues at Apple knew he was gay and that the fact that he likes men did not affect the way they treated him in his position as CEO in the slightest:
“Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me” he said.
But besides coming out on such a public platform, the theme of Cook’s essay was not to announce his sexual orientation to the world. Instead, he wanted to express his feelings about keeping his private life so intensely private over the years, and how he came to realize that by being so intensely private, it is actually holding him back from doing something more important.
He attributed Martin Luther King’s famous quote – ““Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ - to his decision to come out. He said, he challenges himself with that question on a daily basis:
“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.”
After his announcement, tech leaders and influencers around the globe – and even some of Apple’s fiercest competitiors – had nothing but good words to say about Cook.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, took to Twitter to express his feelings toward Cook. He said that he is inspired by Cook.
Richard Branson also applauded the Apple CEO, calling his words inspirational. Other notable mentions came from Aaron Levie, founder of Box, who called Cook’s announcement ‘super badass’.
Mark Zuckerberg thanked Cook on Facebook (obviously) for “showing what it means to be a real, courageous and authentic leader.”
The words of praise stretched well beyond the tech industry, with various entertainment and media personalities also applauding Cook. Even former US president, Bill Clinton, chimed in tweeting: “From one son of the South and sports fanatic to another, my hat’s off to you, Tim Cook!”
Its always wonderful to see how much the world and society has evolved, where high profile people like Tim Cook can comfortably share intimate and private sentiments for the world and be applauded for it. Good on you, Tim Cook, we applaud you, too!