Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly announced he is gay in an article for Businessweek, writing ,”While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now.” Cook wrote that he considered “being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” It’s a statement that should leave many anti-gay religious conservatives reading on their iPads perplexed, if not incensed. But the country’s recent lightning fast turnaround on the issue of gay marriage would seem to indicate that most of the reaction to this news will be muted. That’s in the US.
But in a recent interview, Cook’s fellow tech wizard, the Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel revealed where coming out as gay might be problematic: overseas. Thiel, who is gay, predicted that more big name CEOs would come out in the near future–perhaps he had Cook in mind?–but that the potential difficulty arose more from the global aspect of today’s business. What’s accepted in one place may cause discrimination elsewhere, where the culture is less accepting. That may be true for smaller, less well-branded companies, but it’s hard to imagine anything getting in Apple’s way, even in a cultural backwater.