In a first-person piece posted on Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook writes, “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay.” He goes on to explain why he decided to make this fact public. “I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.” Apple was a supporter of gay rights long before Cook joined the company in 1998, offering benefits to domestic partners of gay employees as far back as 1993. Back then, county commissioners in Williamson County, Texas (just outside Austin) temporarily rejected Apple’s request for a $750,000 tax rebate when building an $80 million business park because of Apple’s HR policies surrounding gay employees.