This past weekend at the LoveLoud Festival in Salt Lake City, Apple CEO Tim Cook had a powerful message for LGBTQ youth around the world.
While introducing Imagine Dragons, Cook, who became the first openly gay head of a Fortune 500 company when he came out in 2014, told the 30,000 attendees in a passionate speech:
"I stand before you tonight as an uncle, a sports nut, a CEO, a lover of the beautiful Utah outdoors, and a proud gay American. I've come to deliver a simple message that I want every LGBT person to hear and to believe: You are a gift to the world, a unique and special gift, just the way you are. Your life matters. To you, I say: find your truth. Speak your truth. Live your truth. Let me tell you, normal might just be the worst word ever created. We're not all supposed to be the same, feel the same or think the same, and there is nothing wrong with you. Now, I know that life can be dark and heavy, and sometimes it might seem unreasonable and unbearable. But just as night turns to day, know that darkness is always followed by light. You will feel more comfortable in your own skin, attitudes will change, life will get better, and you? You will thrive."
With the help of Imagine Dragons' frontman Dan Reynolds, LoveLoud Festival reached its goal of raising one million dollars to donate to LGBTQ charities.