When Joel Simkhai came out of the closet at age 18, he was worried about what kind of professional future he could have as an openly gay man.
"One of my problems was I thought I couldn't be as successful," Simkhai says. "That's partially because I didn't have any gay role models who were very successful and in high-profile jobs."
Now, as founder and CEO of the location-based gay social network, Grindr, which has more than 4 million users in 192 countries, Simkhai has become the very example of success that he says he never had.
The fact is: Sexuality remains a sensitive subject in big corporate environments, especially among C-suite executives. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that there's not a single openly gay CEO on the Fortune 1000 list. Even those who are widely reported to be gay, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, have never publicly admitted it, a phenomenon often referred to as "the glass closet."