Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday was honored with the GLSEN Champion Award at the group's Respect Awards in Los Angeles.

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, works to create a safe space in schools for children who are or may be perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

In accepting the award, Cook, who came out gay five years ago in a Bloomberg essay, warned of “the consequences of failing our kids,” which include “trans and nonbinary young people kicked out of their homes and attacked on our streets. Bullying and harassment in our schools. And a broader society that still sends a message, when the going gets tough, it's the least among us who get targeted first.”

He shared some of the messages he received since coming out. One young person said that they were inspired to come out to their family. “If [you] can tell the whole world, I at least can tell my mom,” the person wrote.

Another message came from a closeted man with a loving wife and three adult children who said that he “cried” when he read Cook's coming out essay.

“I cried when reading your Bloomberg essay. I cried because I am gay,” the man wrote. “I fought acknowledging who I was because it was not the way things should be.”

“I've cried because there are people who, unlike me 50 years ago, will see that being gay is not an affliction to fight but a wonderful thing to acknowledge and celebrate. It makes me happy to know that there are others who are struggling who will give up the struggle and not travel the road that I chose,” he said.

Cook dedicated his award to this man, who is now 67.

(Related: Tim Cook says he does not regret coming out gay.)