Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Tim Cook: 'Gay Is Not a Limitation'

Tim Cook

In his first interview with a Spanish-language media outlet in the U.S., Apple CEO Tim Cook has reiterated that he considers being gay a gift from God and offered encouragement to LGBTQ young people.

Cook, who came out five years ago, becoming the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, told People en Espanol he has no regrets. “I have not regretted it for one minute. Not at all,” he said.

He still believes, as he wrote in his coming-out column, that being gay is “among the greatest gifts God has given me,” he said. “I think there’s many meanings behind this,” he explained to People en Espanol’s editor in chief, Armando Correa. “One is, it was his decision, not mine. Two, at least for me, I can only speak for myself, it gives me a level of empathy that I think is probably much higher than average because being gay or trans, you’re a minority.”

“I’m not saying that I understand the trials and tribulations of every minority group, because I don’t,” he continued. “But I do understand for one of the groups. And to the degree that it helps give you a lens on how other people may feel, I think that’s a gift in and of itself.”

He again noted that one of the things that motivated his coming-out was the correspondence he received from LGBTQ young people who were struggling due to lack of self-acceptance or rejection by family members. To those who want to come out, he said, his message is “that life gets better, that you can have a great life filled with joy,” he told Correa.

“Gay is not a limitation,” he said. “It’s a characteristic that I hope they view, like I do, that it’s God’s greatest gift. That’s what I hope: to get that message out there to all the young kids struggling with their identity who aren’t certain that they’re resilient enough or good enough, or [they] are made to feel inferior in some way, or worse, are ostracized or whatever. Life doesn’t need to be like this.”

Cook also expressed support for other marginalized people, including Dreamers, unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and wish to stay now that they’re adults. They could remain in the nation under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if they met certain requirements, but Donald Trump wants to end DACA. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in November in a case that could decide DACA’s fate.

“When I talk to folks that are in the United States in the DACA program, what I see is a level of grit, a level of determination, a level of excitement to be in America to achieve something and to go beyond perhaps where their parents did,” said the CEO, who has weighed in on the issue previously. “I see enormous dedication and [a] very diligent work ethic. … I think it’s a travesty that we’re allowing, as a society, this cloud to hang over their heads for any period of time, but even more so for the period of time we have.”

Cook further discussed Apple’s commitment to using renewable energy in its facilities and recycling parts in its products. Read the full interview here. 

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