After a prolonged bout with pancreatic cancer, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away today. The 56-year-old computing visionary sought to make personal computing accessible to everyone through sleek, intuitive, user-friendly design, but his company, his products, and legacy also struck a particular note with the gay crowd as well. Let’s take a moment to recount five ways Jobs struck a positive chord with the gay community during his lifetime.
1) The Apple Logo – Rob Janoff originally created the iconic rainbow-colored logo in 1977. And though the company dropped the rainbow coloring in 1998, what more alluring symbol could there be than a the visible light spectrum placed onto a bitten apple—reminiscent of forbidden knowledge and irresistible temptation.
2) LGBT-friendly hiring practices - Apple was an early adopter of LGBT-friendly hiring practices and scored a perfect 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for offering their employees LGBT-protections, domestic partner benefits, and diversity training—also setting a strong example for other large corporations.
3) Stylish design adapted by homos - According to a 2011 LGBT community survey, gay men are 1.4 times more likely to own an iPhone compared to the general population. The sleek, sexy, design and packaging of Apple products combined with their popularity among artists and designers helped boost their use amongst gay creatives as well.
4) Philanthropy for LGBT causes - Not only does Apple have no history of donating to anti-gay causes, they also famously donated $100,000 to help beat Proposition 8.
5) Appointing Tim Cook as CEO - A month and a half before his passing, Steve Jobs personally appointed Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook as the new company head. As Cook steers the stock market’s #1 company into the 21st century, he does so as the most powerful gay businessperson in the world.