Apple CEO Tim Cook came out Thursday, acknowledging publicly for the first time that he is gay.
“Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” he wrote in a column in Bloomberg Businessweek.
In his column, the Apple ( , Tech30) chief said that he had tried to maintain “a basic level of privacy.” But he said he decided that desire for privacy was stopping him from working for the benefit of others.
“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,” he said. “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.”