Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay, now let's get on with making phones'

Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly acknowledged that he is gay for the first time in a touching op-ed for Bloomberg Businessweek, becoming the first CEO in the Fortune 1000 to be openly gay. Cook announced his sexual orientation in the hope that it would help others struggling with their identity, but has asked that it not become an unnecessary focus for media attention.

"I've come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important," Cook wrote. "That's what has led me to today."

"I don't consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others. 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."

He went on to say: "I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

Cook also joked that being gay has given him "the skin of a rhinoceros," something that has helped him while heading up the much-maligned Apple.

We hope that the announcement will help encourage other members of the LGBTQ community working in the tech sector.

Back in July, thousands of Apple employees, led by Tim Cook, showed their support for equal rights by attending the San Francisco Pride Parade on 29 June.

Apple released a video showing the smiling employees as they marched through the streets wearing branded t-shirts and waving multi-coloured flags.

The Cupertino-based tech company said that employees from around the world participated in the parade "to celebrate Apple's unwavering commitment to equality and diversity." Watch the video below!