Apple CEO Tim Cook received the Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign.
“I love to see the iPhones,” Cook smiled, striding to the podium.
Cook then talked about coming out last year, in an article he wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek.
“I did not do it for 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. 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 actor or actress, and amazing husband, wife, father, or mother.”
Cook went on to blast discrimination and the homophobia that still harms gay and questioning youth:
“Thirty-one states, more than half the stars on our American flag, have no laws to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination. No state legal protection from being fired or evicted because of who you are or who you love. 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.”