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蘋果執行長Tim Cook: 我很驕傲我是同志

事件日期: 
2014-10-30
Photograph by Ashley Gilbertson for Bloomberg Businessweek

(譯者:蘇珊)

在我的整個職業生涯中,我一直試圖保持基本的隱私。我來自低調的根源,我並不想刻意讓別人注意自己。蘋果已經是世界上最受關注的公司之一,我喜歡將重點放在我們的產品和那些客戶應用我們的產品來實現不可思議的事情。

同時,我深信在馬丁·路德·金說過的話:“生命中最頻繁和重要的問題是『你在幫別人做些什麼?』”。我經常用這個問題挑戰自己,而我已經逐漸意識到因為我的個人隱私慾望已經拖延我做一些更加重要的事。而這引導我來到今天。

多年來,我一直公開我的性取向。很多同事在蘋果公司知道我是同性戀,而這似乎並沒有使他們對待我的方式有任何不同。當然,我很幸運的在一家熱愛創造與創新的公司,大家知道當你擁抱別人的不同時才能蓬勃發展。不過不是每個人都這麼幸運。 

 

雖然我從不否認我的性取向,但是我還沒有公開承認,直到現在。因此,讓我澄清一點:我很自豪能夠成為同性戀,我認為當同性戀是上帝賜給我最偉大的禮物。身為同性戀讓我對於當作一個少數人有更深的了解,並提供了一個窗口,讓我知道人們身為少數群體時每天面對的挑戰。身為同性戀讓我更加善解人意,這導致了更豐富的生活。身為同性戀有時是艱難和不安的,但也因此給了我信心,讓我做自己,按照自己的道路,超越逆境和偏執。也讓我有如犀牛的厚皮膚,這對身為蘋果CEO很派的上用場。

 

從我還是個孩子以來,世界已經改變了很多。美國正在走向婚姻平等,而那些勇敢地公眾人物站出來後幫助了改變觀念,使我們的文化更加寬容。不過,在大多數的州法律裡,還是允許雇主因性向解僱員工。還是有許多地方,房東可以驅逐是同性戀的房客,還有地方不讓我們探視生病的伴侶、或分享他們的遺物。無數人,尤其是孩子,因為他們的性取向,每一天必須面對恐懼和歧視。 

 

我不認為自己是一個社會運動者,但我意識到我已經從多少別人的犧牲中獲益。因此,如果聽說蘋果的CEO是同性戀可以幫助別人認知他或她是誰,或者讓感到孤單的人帶來安慰,或者激勵人們堅持自己的平等權利,那麼它足以平衡我失去的隱私。 

 

我得承認,這(出櫃)不是一個容易的選擇。隱私仍然對我很重要,我希望可以維持少量的隱私。我已決定蘋果公司是我一生的工作,我會繼續花我這一生所有醒著的時間讓我可以成為最好的CEO。這就是我們的員工應得的,和我們的客戶、開發人員、股東、供應商和合作夥伴應得的。一個進步社會一部分,是理解不應該以一個人的性傾向、種族或性別來定義一個人。我是一個工程師、一個叔叔、自然愛好者、健身狂、​​南方的孩子、體育迷,和許多其他的東西。我希望人們能尊重我想專心於我最適合、並且給我帶來最多快樂的工作。 

 

我很幸運能領導的公司,在長期以來就提倡所有人的人權和平等。在國會面前,我們採取了強硬的立場,支持在工作場所的平等法案,就像我們在加州主張婚姻平等。在亞利桑那州,該州的立法機關通過了針對同性戀群體歧視的法案時,我們也不避諱的發言。我們將繼續為我們的價值觀而戰,我相信,任何這個令人讚嘆的公司的CEO,不分種族,性別或性傾向,也會做同樣的事。我將親自延續人人平等的主張,直到我死了。

 

當我每天早上到達我的辦公室,我被鑲框的金博士和羅伯特·肯尼迪的照片歡迎。我不會假裝寫這個宣言讓我跟他們一樣。他們所做的就是當我看那些照片時,知道我在做我份內的事,無論多少的去幫助別人。我們一起用磚頭鋪著走向正義的陽光大道,一個磚頭接一個的磚頭。而這是我的磚頭。

 

 

Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.

At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

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, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.

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.

I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That’s what our employees deserve—and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy.

The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We’ve taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California. And we spoke up in Arizona when that state’s legislature passed a discriminatory bill targeting the gay community. We’ll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same. And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.

When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple
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