For LGBTQ accommodation – NBA star and Apple boss donate millions

Apple boss Tim Cook (60) and former NBA star, US basketball player Dwyane Wade (39), donate millions of US dollars to LGBTQ accommodation for queer youth and students.

Eight new accommodations are to be built in the western United States, they announced on Wednesday together with leading Utah politicians.

The so-called Safe-Spaces are intended to offer lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) teenagers and students protection, prevent suicides and offer a place where they can simply be themselves.

Because: In the predominantly Mormon communities in Utah, LGBTQ people have a particularly difficult time and are constantly exposed to hostility because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.



In February 2021, Tim Cook (l.), Ryan Smith (r.) And singer Dan Reynolds (34) announced a combined donation of four million US dollars to Encircle to support new locations in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Utah open. An additional $ 5 million had been raised through October 2021 through other donors including many corporations, individuals, and the state of Utah. The funds will be used to open new houses, a “sustainability fund” and an Encircle CafeFoto: Rick Bowmer/AP

The non-profit organization Encircle helps LGBTQ people, offers mental health services and also supports Mormons to better accept queer people. The organization has already exceeded its declared goal of eight million dollars for the construction of the houses in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Utah with one million dollars.


On October 30, 2014, Cook became the first top American manager to speak publicly about his homosexuality.  At the time he said, “I am proud to be gay and consider being gay to be one of the g

On October 30, 2014, Cook became the first top American manager to speak publicly about his homosexuality. At that time he said, “I am proud to be gay and consider being gay to be one of the greatest gifts God has given me.”Foto: Rick Bowmer/AP

Apple CEO Cook said at the press conference: “The work of Encircle is very important to me because I find myself in so many of these young people. It’s not easy when you feel like you are different or less worthy just because you are who you are or love who you love. Many LGBTQ people know this feeling all too well. “


At the end of 2020, US billionaire Ryan Smith bought Utah Jazz from the Miller family for the equivalent of 1.42 billion euros

At the end of 2020, US billionaire Ryan Smith and his wife Ashley Utah bought Jazz from the Miller family – for the equivalent of 1.42 billion eurosFoto: Rick Bowmer/AP

The first Encircle campaign started in February with donations from the iPhone company and financial help from Ryan and Ashley Smith, the owners of the North American basketball team Utah Jazz.


 At the end of 2019, the ex-basketball player and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, announced that their child was transsexual and would from now on live as a girl

Dwyane Wade: At the end of 2019, the ex-basketball player and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, announced that their child was transsexual and would from now on live as a girlFoto: Rick Bowmer/AP

Former NBA star Wade, who joined the Utah Jazz group in April, told the press conference about his own experiences as the parent of a transgender child: “I stand here as the proud parent of a wonderful daughter who is part of the LGBT society. Community is, ”said Wade.

And further:

I don’t have all the answers either. I don’t know everything, but I am ready to listen.

The organization, based in Provo, where Brigham Young University is also located, has just started building additional locations in Heber, Logan and Ogden, as well as Las Vegas.

In highly religious Utah, Diversity Houses remain highly controversial. Jeffrey Holland, leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, recently urged the church’s university to admit to “the basic doctrines of the faith,” including rejecting same-sex marriage.

The controversy that followed showed once again the level of tension between the LGBTQ community and the Mormon community in the US state.

The Salt Lake City-based church taught until the 1970s that homosexuality could be “cured”. Since then she has declared that although homosexuality is not a sin, she continues to speak out against same-sex marriages and sexuality among lesbians and gays.

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