Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who came out as gay in 2014, making him the first CEO of a major company to come out as gay, has said that being gay has been God’s greatest gift to him.
Although his sexual orientation had been widely rumoured beforehand, he had not confirmed it publicly. Cook said he was happy about that distinction as well as his decision.
“I’m very proud of it,” the Apple CEO was quoted as saying to Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday in an exclusive interview for her programme on CNN International and PBS.
Being gay is “God’s greatest gift to me”, he said.
Cook said he chose to come out publicly after receiving letters from children who were “going through being bullied, being pushed out of their homes, very close to suicide”.
“My strong view is that everyone should be treated with respect… I was public because I started to receive stories from kids who read online that I was gay,” he said.
Cook said he is a private person but ultimately decided that he was being “selfish” by keeping quiet about his identity when he could help people by coming out.
“I needed to do something for them”, I wanted to demonstrate to gay children that they “can be gay and still go on and do some big jobs in life.” Cook said he was shocked that he was the first out CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He said he is glad other CEOs have come out since, although that wasn’t his goal.