Apple’s Tim Cook Proclaims He’s Gay And Proud Of It

By his own admission, Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay. It seems silly that such a thing could make headlines, but the reality is, we live in an era where coming out as being gay can have a profound impact, especially by a person in power. In this case, that person is one of the most recognizable figures in the technology sector and in charge of a company worth in the neighborhood of $630 billion.

Cook didn't just come out, he penned an editorial in Bloomberg announcing his sexual orientation and why he's now chosen to disclose it. In it, he brings to light Dr. Martin Luther King's belief that the most persistent and urgent question in life is, "What are you doing for others?" Cook came to realize that his desire to maintain a level of personal privacy was holding him back from a greater good.

Tim Cook

"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," Cook said.

Several of Cook's colleagues already knew about Cook's sexual orientation. They haven't treated him any differently, though Cook readily admits that he's had the advantage of working for a company that embraces people's differences. And therein lies one of the biggest reasons it matters that Cook just came out.

When CNBC host Simon Hobbs accidentally outed Cook as being gay earlier this year during an episode of "Squawk on the Street," there was an uncomfortable silence that followed. There was also a discussion about gay CEOs who are afraid to be open about their sexuality for fear of the backlash. Jim Stewart of The New York Times was a guest visitor that day, and of the "many" gay CEOs he reached out to in preparation for the show, he says he received an "extremely cool reception" and that none of them gave permission for their names to be used.

Cook doesn't consider himself an activist on the matter, but he does hope that his admission might be of help to others who have yet to come out.

"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."

Cooks editorial comes just a few days after the CEO criticized his home state of Alabama for being slow to accept the LGBT community.