Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m gay’

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 30 Oktober 2014 | 20.01

Coming out ... Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple iPad Air 2 earlier this month. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez. Source: AP

APPLE chief executive Tim Cook has opened up about his sexuality for the first time, saying "being gay is among the greatest gifts God has given me".

In an essay in Businessweek, Cook says he has always been a fan of privacy and hates drawing attention to himself but says the words of Dr Martin Luther King often nag at him.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?" Cook wrote, quoting King.

"I often challenge myself with that question, and I've come to realise that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important," Cook said. "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.

"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," he said.

Proud to be gay ... Apple chief executive Tim cook. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez. Source: AP

Cook went on to say that coming out publicly was not an easy choice but said he did so in the hope that it might help others who are struggling with their sexuality.

"I don't consider myself an activist, but I realise how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others," he said. "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."

Cook said that rather than being a burden, being gay has helped him to be a better man.

"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," he said.

New territory ... Tim Cook (L), with the late Steve Jobs (centre) and Phil Schiller. Picture: Supplied. Source: AP

He said he was proud to work for a company that supported "human rights and equality for all."

However Cook said that being gay was just one part of him.

"Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one's sexuality, race, or gender," he said. "I'm an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things."

Cook said he arrives in his office every morning to be greeted by the pictures 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," he said. "We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick."

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