By Mayan Stewart
While it may have once been considered a career-ending move, today gay celebrities are no longer afraid to come out and reveal their sexuality. Whether it’s making the announcement on a magazine cover, blog, TV show or social media, these public figures are joining a growing list of celebs who are out and proud. Instead of backlash, many stars find that their fans are supportive of who they really are. Their courage has even given people outside of Hollywood the strength to be open up about their sexuality as well.
Gay & Proud of It! Celebs Who Have Come Out
Today, Apple chief executive Tim Cook made a very public and brave announcement via Bloomberg BusinessWeek in a expose’ of sorts — stating he is “proud to be gay. I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” he wrote.
“We’ll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same. And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.
Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.
At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.
For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. 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. Not everyone is so lucky.
While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.
Now what’s really interesting is that the executive is not only the first openly gay leader of a major U.S. company, he is also uplifting the company catapulting them into the forefront of one of America’s most public movements, Gay Pride aka the LGBT community.
These communities generally celebrate pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality. LGBT activists and sociologists see LGBT community-building as an antidote to heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexualism, and conformist pressures thought to exist in the larger society. The term gay pride is used to express the LGBT community’s identity and collective strength; gay pride parades provide both a prime example of the use and a demonstration of the general meaning of the term. The LGBT community is diverse in political affiliation. Not all LGBT individuals consider themselves part of an LGBT community — according to Wikipedia.
SEE ALSO: LGBT Celebs – Life Out of the Closet
Cook’s sexual orientation was widely known in Silicon Valley, but he did not make his essay announcement on his own. He first sought support from Apple’s board, which Chairman Arthur Levinson said in a statement gave its “wholehearted support and admiration.”
What are your thoughts on Cooks’ coming out? Share with us in the comments below.
Click here to read Tim Cooks essay in its entirety.