PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel: “I’m Proud To Be Gay, I’m Proud To Be a Republican, I’m Proud To Be An American”

Jim Burroway

July 22nd, 2016

Here’s a clip from his speech last night. I would note that the reaction from the convention hall didn’t really kick in until he said he was proud to be a Republican and proud to be an American. That’s all well and good, but I think it’s safe to say that if he had just ended with “I’m proud to be gay,” the hall wouldn’t have been nearly as noisy.

After all, out of all of the 2,470 delegates at the convention, pro-LGBT proponents couldn’t find just twenty-eight of them to back revisiting the most the most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s 162-year history. Thiel may be proud of them, but his fellow Republicans just see him as useful.

Gene in L.A.

July 22nd, 2016

Based solely on his words, he fits the description of many of the gay Republicans I’ve met and known, in that he cares more about conservatism, than about the individual rights of Americans. The right of someone to use the restroom fitting their identity is “a distraction.” I’ll bet he doesn’t consider economic policies that directly affect his own portfolio a distraction. Color me unimpressed.


July 22nd, 2016

Thiel is a radical libertarian loon, who has anti-democracy and anti-woman tendencies. I am not interested in anything he has to say; if there was a viable alternative to PayPal I would switch.

Priya Lynn

July 22nd, 2016

“Based solely on his words, he fits the description of many of the gay Republicans I’ve met and known, in that he cares more about conservatism, than about the individual rights of Americans. The right of someone to use the restroom fitting their identity is “a distraction.” I’ll bet he doesn’t consider economic policies that directly affect his own portfolio a distraction. Color me unimpressed.”.

Yes, that makes me angry. It takes a real sleezeball to trivialize something that has a huge impact on others just because it doesn’t affect you. F him.


July 22nd, 2016

He’s so proud of being gay that he’s made it his life’s mission (AFTER creating a floating Libertarian paradise) to put Gawker out of business for outing him.

Basically, he could have summed it up as, “I got mine, Fuck everyone else!”

Fritz Keppler

July 22nd, 2016

^^^Which is, basically, the mantra of most conservatives.

Ben in Oakland

July 22nd, 2016


I didn’t know about Thiel. Now I do. I have to use paypal once a year or so. It’s going to be less if I have any alternative.


July 22nd, 2016

Fuck off, MattNYC. Gawker was the Breitbart of the left.

Gawker published a sex tape without consent from a person, it destroyed the careers of people via vicious Twitter trolling hate campaigns. It deserved to be sued to the ground.

The excuses you pathetic people make for Gawker are beyond the pale.

The world would be a better place if both Gawker and Breitbart were driven into bankruptcy by lawsuits.

Jim Burroway

July 22nd, 2016

Calm down now Lucrece. You know better. And if you’ve forgotten, please review once again our Comments Policy.

Moving on…

I don’t think Gawker was ever the Brietbart of the left. There are those who look to Brietbart as though it were a legitimate source of information, while Gawker was more of a collection of smart-asses who sometimes, incidentally, happened to make some news. More of then than not, the news they made was more of the Perez Hilton/TMZ variety, so I’m not someone who’s going to rush in to defend them. If you disagree with me on this point, I won’t raise a finger to object.

But where I will raise a finger is with this: I think any time anyone uses his wealth to hire a phalanx of attorneys with the express purpose of putting out of business any publishing or online platform in the service of a personal vendetta against that target, I think we all should be very, very concerned about the chilling effect that will have for free expression in America. I know I find that *personally* alarming. Pam Spaudling had to give up blogging, in part, thanks to a less menacing but no less financially devastating threat.

So I don’t care whether it’s Brietbart, Gawker, Fox, MSNBC, or the Washington Post (which, by the way, is still banned from Trump’s media events), we’re talking about. The idea that a wealthy individual can use his fortune to crush someone who publishes something he doesn’t like — which is what Thiel did — we’re not talking about the behavior of a hero. We’re talking about the behavior of an oligarch.

Gene in L.A.

July 22nd, 2016

One might justifiably think that if Thiel made a sex tape he’s partly to blame for what happened.

Mark F.

July 22nd, 2016

Actually, I doubt the party even mentioned LGBT people in its platform for most of its history.

I do know that most Republicans under 30 (not well represented at the convention)are pro-gay.

In any case, the President is free to ignore the terrible platform, and I would point out that Clinton and Obama opposed gay marriage in 2008.

Mark F.

July 22nd, 2016

No doubt we’ll soon have posts praising the bloodthirsty hawk Hillary Clinton, one of the worst Democrats in years, supporter of numerous wars, including Bush’s Iraq disaster, supporter of blowing up human beings by drone without due process, and wasting a trillion dollars of your tax money a year on militarism. But she supports gay rights. Oh! Ah! Give the woman 3 cheers!

Priya Lynn

July 22nd, 2016

” Pam Spaudling had to give up blogging, in part, thanks to a less menacing but no less financially devastating threat. “.

What are you talking about? She said she quit for health reasons.

Jim Burroway

July 22nd, 2016

In part. She was also threatened with a lawsuit by a Las Vegas-based newspaper chain that was filing frivolous but devastatingly expensive copyright infringement lawsuits against bloggers for blockquoting even tiny portions of their articles. Copyright law allows the practice but the chain was demanding exorbitant payments to make the lawsuits go away as part of what it saw as a new revenue stream. She was able to get free representation and successfully fought off the threat. But as I recall, this, when coupled with worsening health problems later on, was a factor in her decision.


July 22nd, 2016

Jim, Gawker is not some defenseless media blog like Pam’s. They’re part of a media empire who resorted to tax evasion by placing some of its finances in havens like the Cayman Islands.

We’re not talking about the little vs big guys here.

These are corporations that destroyed people’s lives with their gossip rags. People actually lost their careers via troll train on twitter by Gawker.

They have walked the very thin line with libel/slander laws, and Gawker finally crossed it by secretly filming and publishing a sex tape of a citizen who did not consent.

I know people hate billionaires intervening, but the average citizen affected by this sex tape would have been bulldozed over by Gawker’s legal team. They’re not some skeleton crew.

Nick Denton himself is another millionaire and he was just a tiny part of that despicable media empire.

And Thiel has every right to his grudge. What Gawker did was an utter hit piece; it wasn’t journalism.

There’s obviously a right to free speech, but that’s a defense from the government inhibiting your individual speech, not a right to have a platform that slanders people.

Let’s remind ourselves that Gawker LOST in a court of law. The judge himself denied motions to extend Denton’s grace period. There was a ruling for damage caused by the publishing of a sex tape without consent, which isn’t even just slander but outright sexual harassment and public shaming at its most vile.

Honestly I’m more surprised the likes of Perez Hilton did not get sued out of business either, given the disgusting invasion of privacy they engaged in. I’m all for the removal of so many of these media vampires that prey on citizens to drive up their ratings/web visits. They cause far more damage in my opinion than their inability to smear people without legal repercussions.

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2016

Mark F.

Really. I have no idea what kind of a point you’re trying to make:

“I would point out that Clinton and Obama opposed gay marriage in 2008.”

I would point out that Romney supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide. In 2012. Meanwhile, Trump still wants to roll back the Supreme Court decision today. It’s a very odd thing to hear someone appear to defend someone with an anti-gay position in 2016 by saying a Democrat held an anti-gay position eight years ago. How about comparing today with today, since what was going on eight years ago is no longer relevant.

“No doubt we’ll soon have posts praising the bloodthirsty hawk Hillary Clinton, one of the worst Democrats in years, supporter of numerous wars, including Bush’s Iraq disaster, supporter of blowing up human beings by drone without due process, and wasting a trillion dollars of your tax money a year on militarism.”

Because Trump would do none of that, right?

For the record, you’ve apparently missed the post that will come the closest to my praising Clinton here:

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2016

“I know people hate billionaires intervening, but…”

I only hate billionaires who act as oligarchs. Like I said, I have zero interest in defending Gawker’s media style. But when oligarchs have the power to shut down any kind of media they don’t like regardless of size based on personal vendettas, and are admired for it, then we have a much bigger problem. The difference between “hit pieces” and journalism is always in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? Especially where *public* figures are concerned. The point that MattNYC made, who you so inappropriately lashed out against, is entirely valid. It *is* a worrying development.


July 23rd, 2016

His point was that Thiel made it his life mission to put a predatory media business because they outed him, which is a load of shit. He wasn’t annoyed because they outed him — he worked in Silicon Valley, not Alabama (he was out to colleagues).

What Gawker tried to do in that piece was to publicly shame him for being a right-leaning gay man, to paint him as a class traitor and a self-loathing closet case.

I think saying what Gawker writes as something of an eye of the beholder is being coy about what sorts of articles Gawker wrote about people.

Thiel didn’t shut down Gawker merely because of a personal vendetta. A vendetta was not sufficient to a judge in a court of law. He helped fund a legal team which proved civil damages, which the court agreed with.

Which is well within his rights to free speech as well, much like how billionaires can fund the legal battles against the state department on illegal immigration cases, the decriminalization of marijuana, and even opt to stop giving donations to universities whose policies they disagree with.

You’re acting as if he just barraged Gawker with trumped up charges and it was his immense legal team which ran Gawker into the ground with court costs (note: it didn’t, as Gawker still has attorneys for the appeals process).

Gawker put itself out of business by doing something outright criminal.

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2016

It was a vendetta. He wasn’t annoyed because they outed him. He was furious. And their lawyers found a court they could get to overreact. Won’t be the first time a court has done that. If you want to pretend that Thiel acted out of the goodness of his heart because of his altruistic worry about poor, defenseless little Hulk Hogan, then I’ll leave you with that fantasy.


July 23rd, 2016

It’s hard to argue with someone who thinks that punitive damages to publishing a sex tape without consent was an “overreaction”.

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2016

And it’s futile to argue with someone who thinks $140 million in “damages” is reasonable.


July 23rd, 2016

Of course it is reasonable, a company that that publishes a sex tape and when asked by the person who did not consent to it to remove it, declines to do so, deserves damages aimed to bankrupt said company.

But by all means hold on to your narrative that these media companies are poor little lambs pushed around by billionaires when Gawker’s legal defense fund is funded by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg (valued at 11.1 billion)

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2016

Lucrece. You did not even read that article. It does not say that Gawker’s legal defense was funded by Veksleberg. They *sold* a minority stake to him ahead of the lawsuit. That’s not the same thing. You’re sounding like Brietbart (or Gawker) now.

“Mr. Thiel’s animus toward Gawker dates to at least 2007, when Gawker’s Valleywag blog revealed that he was gay. Mr. Thiel, who has since publicly discussed his sexuality, in a 2009 interview described Valleywag as “the Silicon Valley equivalent of al Qaeda.” Gawker has since closed the site.”

Robert Richards, a professor of First Amendment studies at Penn State University, said that while he finds Mr. Thiel’s financing troubling, “There’s nothing illegal about it.” Mr. Richards said that other wealthy figures “might look at this as a way to change the media landscape.”

“If you have a situation now where a newspaper fears doing something that might be controversial because they don’t know who is going to come out of the woodwork to sue them, I think that certainly has a chilling effect,” he said.

I think I’m going to disengage. Your mind is made up and facts won’t dissuade you.

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2016

One last thing. You began by lashing out against another commenter in this forum in a very inappropriate way. I called you out on that, and I reminded you of it again. I had hoped you would have addressed it by now. You haven’t. We can disagree on many things, but not that.

So having said that, *now* I’m going to disengage here.

Tobias Grace

July 23rd, 2016

Peter Theil and Vidkun Quisling are cut from the same bolt of goods. See this editorial in Out in Jersey magazine on-line:


July 23rd, 2016

“After International Business Times reported Tuesday that Gawker CEO and founder Nick Denton was seeking outside investment cash, Denton announced a planned partnership with Vekselberg’s investment firm Columbus Nova in the New York Times. Gawker, it turns out, plans to sell a minority stake to Columbus Nova, pending approval from Gawker’s shareholders, to finance the company’s ongoing legal fight with Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan.”

“A representative from Gawker Media declined to discuss the details of the deal until after the conclusion of its legal battle with Hulk Hogan, who is suing the site for publishing his sex tape in 2012. The company told IBT on Tuesday that the new investment was primarily to build up a war chest for Hogan trial.”

Yeah, ok. Totally unrelated to funding a legal defense. Selling a minority stake to the Russian oligarch who seeks to destroy unions across the board.

I also don’t see how I didn’t address my previous comment. I haven’t insulted anybody thereafter.

So, I’m assuming you want an apology. I’m sorry for telling MattNYC to fuck off after he mocked Thiel’s “I’m proud to be gay” statement by saying he sued Gawker because he wanted to stay closeted (which he wasn’t, he was out to his peers).


July 24th, 2016

Knowing that I am not the first person to have rankled Lucrece into a personal attack, I won’t take it personally (maybe even as a badge of honor ;). I’ll even accept the half-hearted apology.

Speaking only for myself, I may have read as many as three Gawker stories in my entire life. In fact one of them–the one about Thiel–I ONLY read after I heard that he was behind the Hulk Hogan lawsuit because of an outing story. (Which is why SMART people shut up about a true story that they don’t like because otherwise, you are only advertising it to people.)

I was in no way defending Gawker’s overall sensationalism. I don’t read TMZ or Perez Hilton, ever. Gawker at least has politically relevant stories from time to time that I click to from places like DailyKos.

The very definition of outing–and frankly, the only situations I have ever condoned–is when it is done to a person who is working against the lives and liberties of other LGBT people. While it’s most appropriate in cases where someone has legislative/judicial/executive powers over the lives of others, in the completely fucked-up, money-driven political system we are currently stuck with, I have no sympathies for the hurt feelings of a selfish, money grubber like Thiel, who funds anyoe who protects his wallet. The fact that he’s backing Donald Trump proves that he doesn’t give a shit about the lives of LGBT people in general, Q.E.D.

In fact, I don’t believe that he cares about another human being besides one Peter Thiel (I will be generous and add that he MAY indeed have positive feelings towards anyone related to or in a relationship with him).

If he had used his wealth to go after Gawker for the outing–which he surely would have lost since it’s pretty hard to win a slander/libel case against a media outlet when the accusation is most obviously true and when being considered gay is no longer among the worst things one could be accused of–then I could at least respect him.

But he’s been essentially “shopping” for a case that would help him bring down the insignificant insects that pointed out his hypocrisy. I bet he and/or his legal team were the most enthusiastic readers of Gawker since that story, just so he find the perfect case to drive them out of business. So when it comes to being a rich, thin-skinned, vindictive prick, he’s certainly reminiscent of someone else I can think of…

Priya Lynn

July 25th, 2016

Lucrece, Thiel is an all around bad guy. He believes democracy and freedom are incompatible ideas at least partly because women have the right to vote.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for this guy, the Gawker outing fell far short of giving him what he deserves.

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