NEW YORK (Reuters) – Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Thursday became the most prominent American corporate leader to come out as being gay,
saying he was trading off his closely guarded privacy for the chance to help move forward civil rights.
The Alabama native, who has spoken out against discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, declared his sexual orientation in a magazine editorial, confirming a fact widely known in the close-knit Silicon Valley tech community but rarely discussed.
Cook’s announcement comes as gay marriage is becoming widespread, but the nation is still divided over gay rights. Same-sex marriage is legal in thirty-two US states and in polls a majority support same-sex marriage, with a clear generational divide between younger Americans who are more likely to support it and older ones who are less likely.
“I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Cook said in an article he wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek.