Many of Tim Cook's colleagues already knew he was gay, but the Apple CEO decided to tell the world at large when he realized that "my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important," he writes in a column in Bloomberg Businessweek today. "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."
Being gay has been hard at times, he writes, but it has also "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." And with America moving toward marriage equality even as discriminatory laws still exist, Cook wanted to come out publicly. "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."