I wrote an essay that was deeply personal. I wanted to lend my voice to people who might not be ready to exercise theirs. It was an open letter to the public, but it was addressed most of all to everyone who had been rejected by their friends, their communities, or even their families simply because of who they are. I’ll tell you 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 by how loudly you say it. But sometimes you just have to be loud. 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.
— Apple CEO Tim Cook, while accepting the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award at the 2015 HRC awards dinner on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
Watch the entire speech below: