NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– In a watershed moment, Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report CEO Timothy D. Cook has unveiled to the world that he is gay, making him the first Fortune 500 chief executive to publicly do so. Cook made the announcement emphatic, declaring that he "is proud to be gay."

In a first person editorial for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cook said, "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."

Former BP (BP) - Get BP p.l.c. Sponsored ADR Report CEO John Browne, who is gay, has been actively campaigning via his book The Glass Closet that CEOs who are gay need to publicly announce that in order to be better managers.

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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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