Silicon Valley entrepreneur and hedge fund titan Peter Thiel, a delegate for Donald Trump from California, drew applause, cheers and many delegates giving a standing ovation as he declared from the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena, “I’m proud to be gay.”
“I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American,” Thiel said.
Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, was not the first openly gay man to address a GOP convention. Rep. James Kolbe (R-Arizona), who is openly gay, spoke in 2000 but did not make reference to his sexual orientation. A official from Log Cabin Republicans, an organization that works within the Republican party to advocate for LGBT rights, addressed the 1996 convention.