When Tim Cook came out to the media as gay I was not surprised. We all knew that Apple products were disproportionately favored by gays. The statistics occasionally cropped up and then disappeared in a very…Apple sort of way. A very “gay” sort of way in fact if you wanted to use a crude and unfair generalisation in terms of stereotyping 5-7% of the world population and the richest corporation in the history of homo sapiens. Interestingly enough that is about the market share of Apple products globally. (If you add smartphone and computers it may be a bit less but both kind of statistics are really hard to nail with any precision.) Apple is the perfect demonstration of how hypocritical a gay CEO can be when he is the one in a position of power.
We don’t know exactly how many people on the planet are homosexual. And to be honest, we shouldn’t really care. I have walked Gay Pride marches enough to know that all my gay friends, and the friends of their friends are a fantastically varied collection of human beings. In fact I don’t even think classifications help. There is no “gay meter”, human sexuality is a wonderfully complex thing, nobody is completely “straight” and what people fantasize about or do in terms of their sex life is nobody else’s business. It shouldn’t even be mentioned in business.
Oh wait. Actually it is.
One of the biggest, most consistent and absolutely fair demands of all of us who believe in equal opportunities, is the push for fair pay. I want my daughter to get paid as much as a man when she works doing a similar job. Hey Siri, is this true in Apple regarding gay employees? Hmmm…no response, eh? I want my kids to grow up in a world where we don’t need quotas in upper management. Hey Siri, are there disproportionately more gays in Apple? Siri won’t tell you. Apple won’t tell you. It is their right after all not to tell you. But why is nobody asking? We ask about all sort of other groups of people. We do our politically correct best to help minorities of every kind. We read and write about how a corporation needs a coherent mission and values. If Apple is more camp than others why is not openly projecting it?
It seems rather impressive that we can #meToo ourselves until we are blue in the face and turn a blind eye to this opportunity. If Tim Cook was a Yankees fan, when he met the President of the USA, we would read “and they joked about the game”. If the CEO of the richest corporation in the history of humanity was married to a woman we would probably see her at his side there too. Through a combination of good timing and the all powerful Apple PR machine, since he bravely came out openly as gay however we have heard almost nothing. A few carefully planned and executed, possibly paid for, high profile, profiles about it then. And since? Is Tim Cook in some way obligated to bring up LGBT issues since he has the ear of the world? Should he be doing more?
Of course it is a personal choice. And he should have the right to a private life. Other CEO keep their families away from the media. But the case of Apple and Tim Cook is a remarkable demonstration of the limits of selective political correctness, the limits of #metoo type of approaches and our extremely hypocritical approach to demands for transparency and “the truth” about our world.