Tim Cook has announced himself as a proud gay man.
The Apple CEO, who appeared to be accidentally outed by a CNBC anchor in June, has penned a personal essay for Bloomberg Businessweek in which he writes the following:
"Let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
In his column, the Apple, the executive explains that he attempted to maintain "a basic level of privacy." But he’s willing to forego that privacy if his story can help others.
"I don't consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others," Cook writes. "So 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."
Cook says many Apple colleagues have known about his sexual orientation for awhile and it hasn’t made a different in the way they treat him.
"Of course, I've had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people's differences," he writes. "Not everyone is so lucky."
A year ago, Cook announced support for a federal law that would have protected workers from facing discrimination based on their sexual preference.
In December, at an event organized by his alma mater Auburn University, he spoke of facing discrimination in his life, portending today’s big news.
"I have seen and have experienced many types of discrimination, and all of them were rooted in the fear of people that were different than the majority," Cook said at the time.