This past Sunday, 60 Minutes devoted much of its episode to an interview with Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple and the most powerful gay man in the world.
While much of the discussion focused on Apple's business practices — including its use of encryption, its hiring of workers in China, and accusations that it seeks tax shelters in foreign countries — Charlie Rose did bring up Cook's relatively recent coming out.
Cook described why he sees being gay as a benefit:
“When you’re in a minority group, it gives you a sense of empathy of what it’s like to be in the minority, and you begin to look at things from different point of views, and I think it was a gift for me.”
Since he came out, the Apple CEO has become an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. When Indiana passed a bill earlier this year that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gay people, Cook blasted Gov. Mike Pence in a Washington Post op-ed. Cook also unsuccessfully urged Alabama to enact LGBT protections, and made a large donation to the Human Rights Campaign.
Rose also asked why Cook didn't come out sooner. The executive said he valued his privacy but eventually realized his impact as an out gay leader would be too great to pass up.
“But it became increasingly clear to me that if I said something that it could help other people. And I’m glad, because I think that some kid somewhere, some kid in Alabama, I think if they just for a moment stop and say, ‘If it didn’t limit him, it may not limit me.’ Or this kid that’s getting bullied. Or worse, I’ve gotten notes from people contemplating suicide. And so if I could touch just one of those, it’s worth it. And I couldn’t look myself in the mirror without doing it.”
Watch another clip below: