Tim Cook continues working for LGBTQ equality.

Tim Cook continues working for LGBTQ equality.

Pride parades across the country will celebrate the progress made in LGBTQ rights in the half-century since gay clients at the Stonewall Inn in the town of Greenwich in New York resisted a police raid.

However, there is still work to be done, according to the guest commentator on Sunday morning, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.

This weekend we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the riots in Stonewall.

It is an important reminder that only dedicated people, who get up when it is difficult, can move us forward. And that without courage, it is chilling to fall back into the shadows.

When the clients of the Stonewall Inn appeared that June night, people of all races, homosexuals and transgenders, young and old, had no idea what history had in store for them. It would have seemed silly to dream it.

When the police raid began, it was not the coup of opportunity or the call of fate. It was just another example of the world telling them that they should feel useless because they are different.

But the group gathered there felt something strengthening in them. A conviction that they deserved something better than oblivion.

And if it was not going to happen, they would have to build it themselves.

He was eight years old and was a thousand miles away when Stonewall happened. There were no news alerts, no way for the photos to go viral, no mechanism for a child on the Gulf Coast to hear these rare heroes tell their stories.

What I would not know, for a long time, was what I owed to a group of people I never met in a place I had never been.

However, I will never stop being grateful for what they had the courage to build.

Today, all of us must continue with their work.

In 2019, discrimination still looms in employment, in housing and in public places such as restaurants and stores.

The transgender community, in particular, stands out for discrimination and acts of violence.

And LGBTQ youth still face an epidemic of bullying harassment that is not simply cruel but robs them of life's opportunities. Often, this comes at the hands of the people they should be able to trust: their teachers, their religious leaders, even their parents. Looking only for the love and acceptance of these young people are expelled from their homes and places of worship. It is not a small reason why approximately 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ.

We all have the responsibility to set a positive example and that includes companies like ours. We make sure that our employees enjoy the same health care benefits and protections, and that we create an inclusive environment where everyone can bring their unique experiences to work.

With the spread of marriage equality to the 50 states and a seismic shift in public opinion in favor of equality for all, the march that began in Stonewall continues with the wind behind us.

This month of anniversary and pride, in general, is a time for celebration and community. But we miss an important opportunity if we do not dedicate this moment to the progress that is still to be made.

I am proud to be part of this brave community and, 50 years after that historic night, it is the privilege of a lifetime to help you continue your unfinished work.