CUPERTINO (KCBS) — In what many see as a big step for American business and society, Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out publicly, announcing that he is “proud to be gay.”

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In an essay from Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook writes that while he has never denied his sexuality, he never publicly acknowledged it either and so he did that for the first time.

“I’m proud to be gay and I consider being gay one of the greatest gifts God has given me,” he states in the essay.

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Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel said the announcement is big step.

“There has never been in my searching a CEO who has voluntarily stepped out as a Fortune 500 CEO and said, ‘I’m gay,’” he said. “And it’s not just the CEO of any company— it’s the CEO the most closely watched company in the world.”

Cook wrote that for years he was open about his sexual orientation and that many of Apple colleagues know that he is gay. He says he will continue to focus on being the best CEO he can be and will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people.

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