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Tim Cook on why he waited so long to come out: ‘Honestly, I value my privacy’

Tim Cook on why he waited so long to come out: ‘Honestly, I value my privacy’

In 2014, Tim Cook became the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to come out publicly

Apple CEO Tim Cook waited until he was 54 to acknowledge publicly that he is gay because he is ‘a very private person.’

Last year Cook became the only CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be openly gay and he explained to 60 Minutes on Sunday (20 December) why it took him so long to come out to the world.

‘Honestly, I value my privacy,’ Cook says. ‘I’m a very private person. But it became increasingly clear to me that if I said something that it could help other people.

‘And I’m glad, because I think that some kid somewhere, some kid in Alabama, I think if they just for a moment stop and say “If it didn’t limit him, it may not limit me.” Or, this kid that’s getting bullied. Or worse, I’ve gotten notes from people contemplating suicide. And so if I could touch just one of those, it’s worth it.’

Cook adds: ‘I couldn’t look myself in the mirror without doing it.’

He also discussed why he has said that coming out publicly had been ‘a gift’ to him.

‘When you’re in a minority group it gives you a sense of empathy of what it’s like to be in the minority and you begin to look at things from different point of views, and I think it was a gift for me.’