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.
So that finally happened. I’d generally stay clear of commenting on someone coming out of the closet but considering this is Tim, and considering he chose to do it in a public manner, I don’t think that he’d mind me sharing my thoughts.
First things first, this is a great thing. Tim definitely comes across as a rather private person and the fact that he felt he needed to do this, that he needed to publicly acknowledge his sexual orientation is an indicative to me that the society is still by and large not where it needs to be, in their outlook towards diversity. He goes on to talk about what made him give up his privacy –
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.
There are people who feel that Tim didn’t need to come out publicly, claiming that they don’t care what Cook’s sexual orientation is, as long as Apple continues to make great products. I think that these people are missing out on the reason behind why Cook decided to come out. This letter has nothing to do with the “Apple” part of Cook’s life. That is why he published the letter on BusinessWeek and not on Apple’s website.
This isn’t about Apple. This is about the LGBT community and this is about Tim Cook wanting to give back, make a contribution, towards social development.
A forum member (yg17) on MacRumors summed it up pretty well –
It’s important because there are so many gay kids out there who live in West Bum****, Alabama and are told by their parents and everyone else they know that they’re sinners, they’ll never amount to anything, and they’ll burn in hell for being gay. And then after finding absolutely no support amongst the people who should love them, they kill themselves.
Now they can see Tim Cook, who is gay, grew up in West Bum****, Alabama, and went on to become the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world and perhaps the most powerful person in the industry. It might give some hope to these kids out there who thought there was nothing for them in life.