Apple chief executive Timothy D Cook declared “I’m proud to be gay” on 30th Oct 2014. Effect in that part of the world is probably same if he were to anounce in a press conference in Delhi, called to launch their latest I Phone “I am proud to be a stutterer”? My guess.
What need was there for him to do this crazy thing? He did it for others:
Mr. Cook was plainly reluctant, and, as he put it in his essay in Bloomberg Businessweek, “I don’t seek to draw attention to myself.” But, he wrote, he came to the realization that “If hearing that the C.E.O. 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.”
Devil's advocate in me, would quip: Yes, if you are rich and famous, you can do anything. You are free to be 'weirdo' and talk about it...
But on second thoughts: are rich, famous and successful people have more freedom than us, the comoners, or less freedom to do their own thing? I think, it is neither “more or less”. The fears are still the same. Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, who too is openly gay, had this to say:
“No one owes the public such a deep view of his personal life. People underestimate how hard this is. But someone had to be first. For Tim, this was a commitment to make life easier and better for others. It was a generous and courageous thing to do.”
Friends, I think, this entire episode offers us something to deeply study, analyse and learn from; Apple has offered more than cutting edge technology this time:
PS: Till a few decades ago, psychotherapy was offered to LGBT community since homosexuality was considered a medical disorder! Things have changed. Now, Psychologists are expected to understand that lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not mental illnesses (APA guideline).