Tim cook said he was motivated to come out as gay after reading letters from children struggling with their sexual identity.
The often fiercely private Apple CEO first told the public of his orientation in 2014 in a letter published in Bloomberg Businessweek. The move made him the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
In an interview with People en Español, the 58-year-old spoke about a range of topics pertaining to young people and sexual orientation.
He said: “What was driving me was [that] I was getting notes from kids who were struggling with their sexual orientation. They were depressed. Some said [they] had suicidal thoughts. Some had been banished by their own parents and family.
“It weighed on me in terms of what I could do,” he continued. “Obviously I couldn’t talk to each one individually that reached out, but you always know if you have people reaching out to you that there’s many more that don’t, that are just out there wondering whether they have a future or not, wondering whether life gets better … From there I really decided.”
Cook said he didn’t worry about how Apple staff would receive the news but did fret about ‘outside of Apple’ saying “the world is still not friendly to gay or trans people in many countries but also within our country.”
Though Cook said he “didn’t worry” about how Apple staff would react to his coming out, he did acknowledge worrying about the reaction “outside of Apple,” and noted that “the world is still not friendly to gay or trans people in many countries but also within our country.”
He continued: “Gay is not a limitation. It’s a characteristic that I hope they view, like I do, that it’s God’s greatest gift.”
Cook expanded, saying that being gay gave him a greater idea of how other people think and feel. “I’m not saying that I understand the trials and tribulations of every minority group, because I don’t,” he said. “But I do understand for one of the groups. And to the degree that it helps give you a lens on how other people may feel, I think that’s a gift in and of itself.”
Good for him.