6 October 2015
Apple’s Tim Cook was honoured with a gay rights award from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) over the weekend.
Apple's CEO received the organisation’s Visibility Award at the 19th annual HRC National Dinner in Washington, DC.
In an interview after the awards ceremony, Cook spoke about coming out back in October 2014, saying that he didn’t do it for the attention.
“I’m a private person by nature. Growing up I was taught that you distinguish yourself in life by what you do, not by what you say or how loudly you say it. But sometimes you just have to be loud,” Cook said.
“Because people need to hear that being gay is not a limitation. People need to hear that being gay doesn’t restrict your options in life. People need to hear that you can be gay or transgender and be whatever else you want to in life – a CEO or a senator, an Olympic athlete, an awarding winning actor or actress, and amazing husband, wife, father, or mother.”
Cook went on to say that while the USA made major progress recently regarding LGBTI equality, thirty-one states still have no laws to protect queer folk from discrimination and the day on which full equality is achieved has not yet arrived for the 'land of the free'.
“That day is not here yet because kids are still being told they’ll never amount to anything, or get sent to reparative therapy for a cure, or get bullied to the brink of suicide, or get pushed into believing they’re somehow defective when they’re just the way that God made them.
“That day is not here yet when some people claim exemption from what’s written in the Constitution that no state shall deny Americans the equal protection of the laws. That day is not here,” said Cook.
Apple has been a long-time supporter of LGBTI equality, with the company taking part in Pride events in the USA, promoting workplace equality and publicly calling for full marriage equality in the US.