Peter Thiel to RNC: 'I Am Proud to Be Gay' He says Trump will lead America 'back to that bright future' By Newser Editors, Newser Staff Posted Jul 21, 2016 8:37 PM CDT 138 comments Comments Entrepreneur Peter Thiel speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Thursday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – Tech billionaire—and gay man—Peter Thiel was one of the more unexpected speakers lined up for Thursday's final night of the Republican National Convention. But he earned chants of "USA" from the crowd when he announced: "I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American." CNN notes Thiel is the first Republican convention speaker to proudly declare he is gay. Thiel, who most recently made headlines for funding Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker, said he doesn't agree with the entire Republican platform but believes Donald Trump is the only one who can lead the country "back to that bright future" he remembers from his childhood. “Our government was once high-tech," Thiel said. Now he says the government is broken. He points to nuclear bases that use floppy disks and fighter jets that can't fly in the rain. "We don’t accept such incompetence in Silicon Valley and we must not accept it from our government," he said. Speaking of Silicon Valley, Thiel said the rest of the country hasn't had it as good as the tech hub, with wages stagnating and healthcare costs skyrocketing. He said Trump can change that. “I support people who are building new things," Thiel said. “It’s time to rebuild America.” And that means focusing on our true issues. "When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won," Thiel said. "Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?"