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Apple's Tim Cook on Why He Came Out: 'Sometimes You Just Have to Be Loud'

"People need to hear that being gay is not a limitation."

Human Rights Campaign

It has been almost a year since Apple CEO Tim Cook first publicly announced he was gay, and on Saturday, Cook was awarded the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award in Washington, D.C., for his role as a vocal leader of the LGBT community.

He then delivered a powerful acceptance speech about why he came out and the challenges that still remain when it comes to equality.

“We are closer than ever to the day Martin Luther King dreamed of when his children would only be judged by the content of their character,” Cook said onstage. “But that day is not here yet.”

Here’s an excerpt from the speech, which you can watch in full down below.

“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.”

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