Tim Cook made the announcement this week that had nothing to do with an Apple product or software launch. He confronted his sexuality in a piece that was featured in Businessweek, and was met with wide-ranging acceptance and was applauded for the choice to admit his sexuality openly. Sexual orientation has become the center of hot debate within the United States and has largely been hidden within the ranks of corporate America.
“I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” the CEO wrote in his piece to Businessweek. While rumors and speculation have swirled for years around the subject, his sexual orientation was something that remained unspoken, officially, until this was released.
However, while most of the reaction was positive, there were some negative reactions to be found. Senator Ted Cruz, a potential Presidential candidate for 2016 noted that he “loves” his iPhone but that his choice to come out was a “personal” one. The Republican Senator has had a long-standing conservative stance on the issue, and even one of the most influential, and powerful men in corporate America was going to sway this Senator’s opinion to the side of support.
That though was not the norm. The reaction, especially within the tech community, and Silicon Valley region was overwhelmingly supportive. Mark Zuckerberg described him as being a pioneer, praised Cook for “Showing what it means to be a real, courageous and authentic leader.”
Both Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella described his decision to confront his sexuality as inspiring. Even Bill Clinton showed his support for Tim Cook’s decision to come out, and acknowledge his sexuality.
Inspirational was one of the words that was frequently used to describe Cook’s decision as Richard Branson, also vaunted the leader as an inspiration to others in corporate America and the workforce as a whole.
It’s clear that Tim Cook’s words have resonated well within the corporate world, and within popular culture as a whole. This is something that has been a long time in the making. Tim Cook is exactly what the corporate world has been waiting for, and something that will reach far beyond the tech space.