Paypal founder Peter Thiel took the stage at the Republican National Convention on July 21 and had a historic moment when he told the gathered Republicans: “I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American.”
On CNN, commentators were calling it a historic moment; Thiel was met with applause and a standing ovation from those gathered. The reaction on social media was more mixed, with some criticizing Thiel for supporting a party they see as anti-gay. Some criticized his intensity on stage. Others praised the moment.
Bloomberg called Thiel Trump’s “most unlikely supporter” and also described Thiel as: “The Republican Party’s new trade-loving, free-thinking, gay, Christian, antiwar, rich-as-hell, naturalized-citizen, Silicon Valley hero.” Wired called Thiel Trump’s “main tech bro.”
Worth $2.7 billion dollars, according to Forbes, mostly from investments in innovative companies like PayPal (which he helped found) and Facebook, Thiel came to the United States from Germany as a young child.
In 2007, Gawker outed Thiel as gay, in an article that also reported that he had turned a “$500,000 investment in Facebook to a stake now worth $750 million.”
Here’s reaction to his speech on Twitter: