Tim Cook And The Big Gay Apple

31 Oct

Gay AppleThis past Thursday, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, announced that he is in fact gay.  I need to thank my friend and LGBT ally, Jennifer Carey, for inspiring me to write this story. While there are some that have heard this news and have responded with “so what, how does this impact Apple?” I would offer that it is still exceedingly significant when a high profile person comes out. The more visible we are individually and collectively, the stronger we are as a community. For Apple, it sends a message around the world that Apple is a company that is safe for LGBT folk.

Safety, is no small issue. There are still 29 states where it is legal to deny a human being employment, housing, and healthcare just because of their sexual orientation. Cook’s visibility will be helpful to the entire LGBT community, as Cook seems to understand:

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,  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.

Well said!  I would add that Cook’s level of risk was minimal at best.  Sadly, the level of risk to be out at work is too great for too many of our LGBT family.  I hope today will be a reminder of how we can support people who are out and encourage people to become visible.

16 Responses to “Tim Cook And The Big Gay Apple”

  1. Jennifer Carey October 31, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this Michael!! Yesterday on NPR (such a pretentious way to start a sentence), they discussed the fact that this will likely have a more prolific impact abroad. Apple products are very popular in countries where LGBT individuals are not only ostracized or stigmatized, but can suffer from legal consequences for being who they are. So now in places like Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa that have passed extreme laws against the LGBT community, they will need to re-examine their values.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 31, 2014 at 7:23 am #

      Jennifer, thank you for being such a strong ally! Yes, I do hope this will challenge some of the draconian ways in which the LGBT community are treated world wide.

  2. Jennifer Carey October 31, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    And so it begins:


    I wonder how Russians will respond when they can’t get iPhones…

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 31, 2014 at 7:32 am #

      The homophobia, misogyny, and racism are just fever pitched right now in Russia. I caught just about 10 minutes of the new HBO documentary Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia and it truly made me sick. I was also angry with the journalist who filmed a gay youth being tortured and wondered when should journalist interrupt oppression and violence?

  3. Dr. Rex October 31, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    Awesome!! Instant reblog!!

  4. Dr. Rex October 31, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Come out, come out …. wherever you are. Thank you, Tim Cook!!!

  5. mandy October 31, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you for sharing this, Michael. “What’s the big deal?” is a question only those who don’t understand what it’s like to not feel safe being who you are would ask. So thank you, Tim Cook!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 31, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      Mandy, thank you for chiming in here. Thank you also for your dedication to social justice. Peace, Michael.

  6. stephenpaulyoder October 31, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    What I think is lovely about his coming out is the gentle, plain, kind, honest, simple way he shared himself with the world. I found/find it quite moving. The more a person can be her/himself, the more others will feel able to do the same! I think we’re all helped by the “simple” kindness of Mr. Cook. Nice! Thanks, Michael…as always.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 31, 2014 at 8:35 am #

      Thank you for always being so kind and gentle, Stephen! Would that all of us could be so kind and gentle and embracing of our fellow humans. Peace, Michael.

  7. Central Oregon Coast NOW October 31, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  8. Gator Woman November 1, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    I personally am looking forward to a time when this kind of event will no longer be BIG news. It will not need to be done at all, it will no longer matter, we are ALL one!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt November 1, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      I, too, look forward to a time when coming out is not a big deal. Sadly, we are far from that ideal. Peace, Michael.

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