The common wisdom has been that Silicon Valley billionaire, Facebook board member, Paypal cofounder, and noted Libertarian person Peter Thiel hated Gawker media because they'd outed him to the public as gay. That logic was reinforced when Thiel called the website's tech coverage "the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda," and the thinking went that it was a grudge over all this that lead Thiel to secretly fund Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker.
But Thiel is very confusing! In fact, Thiel is proud to be gay, as he'll tell Trump supporters, other Republicans, and the world tonight at the party's national convention, where it was announced last week he would be speaking, the same night that Trump himself takes the podium. CNN writes that according to "a source familiar with Thiel's remarks he will be the first speaker in the history of the party to speak openly about his LGBT experience at a convention. It will also, CNN emphasizes, provide an opportunity for Thiel to address his critics in Silicon Valley. "In the tech industry," the New York Times wrote recently, "his appearance at the convention is being greeted with more apprehension than excitement."
Thiel is also expected to admonish the Republican party for their staunchly anti-LGBT platform, and for "fighting unnecessary culture wars," according to CNN's source.
Returning to that Gawker piece, which was published a decade ago on the company's site Valleywag, Owen Thomas, a current San Francisco Chronicle staffer has said that "I did discuss his sexuality." The piece, for the record was called Peter Thiel is Totally Gay, People.
"[It] was known to a wide circle who felt that it was not fit for discussion beyond that circle. I thought that attitude was retrograde and homophobic, and that informed my reporting. I believe that he was out and not in the closet."
This is all so confounding because Thiel's politics are somewhat contradictory. This is the man who coauthored a book called The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford in which, as many including Gawker have pointed out, he and his co-author defend a law school student who yelled, on Stanford's campus, “Faggot! Faggot! Hope you die of AIDS!” and “Can’t wait until you die, faggot!” It was just some sort of free speech demonstration that, in Thiel's words, "challenged... taboos."
You know, I can think of one presidential candidate who isn't "afraid" to do that either. Thiel will speak at 7 p.m. ET according to the Republican National Convention website. CNN has him going on at 9 p.m. ET, however.