Tim Cook has said that being gay is “God’s greatest gift to me.”
When asked if he was proud to be gay, Cook said: “I’m very proud of it. I’m very proud of it, yes, absolutely.
“To me, it is God’s greatest gift to me.”
Cook explained that he came out after seeing messages from children who were being discriminated against because of their sexuality, leading him to feel like he needed to help them.
“I [went] public because I began to receive stories from kids who read something online that I was gay, and they were going through being bullied, feeling like their family didn’t love them, being pushed out of their home, very close to suicide — things that just really pulled my heart,” he said.
“I started saying: ‘You know, I am a private person, so I’ve kept me to my small circle.’
“And I started thinking: ‘That is a selfish thing to do at this point.
“I need to be bigger than that, I need to do something for them and show them that you can be gay and still go on and do some big jobs in life, that there’s a path there.’
“So that is the reason I did it,” continued Cook, who became the first ever openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company when he revealed his sexuality.
“I did not do it for other CEOs to come out. It wasn’t even in my mind. I was the first, which is kind of shocking.”
In July, he told 30,000 youthful attendees of Utah’s LoveLoud Festival that LGBT+ people were “a gift to the world, a unique and special gift, just the way you are.”
Cook also reiterated his support for transgender rights in the CNN interview, after President Donald Trump confirmed that his administration was “looking at” imposing a new trans policy in the wake of a leaked memo seen by The New York Times which states that a person’s legal sex should be defined as male or female at birth and unchangeable from that point on.
He answered a question about the Department of Health and Human Services proposal by saying: “My strong view is everybody should be treated with dignity and respect.
“That’s the way I look at everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their religion, their gender, their ethnic history, regardless of their gender identity, anything. That’s the way I look at things.”
The business leader donated $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League and wrote a powerful letter condemning Trump after the President equated neo-Nazis at the fatal Charlottesville, Virginia protests to anti-Fascist campaigners.