For years, the media has mostly characterized Peter Thiel—PayPal founder, early investor in Facebook and backer of college dropout entrepreneurs— as a genius iconoclast. But the Silicon Valley billionaire and openly gay Republican’s decision to endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump has, at least in the minds of some liberal media outlets, suddenly transformed him into an overrated and illogical hack.
LGBT Magazine The Advocate, the latest to target Thiel for his support of Trump, is arguing that he’s “not a gay man” because “he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity.”
In a bizarre rant masquerading as a thoughtful article for The Advocate, associate professor of history at Connecticut College Jim Downs poses a question: “[Peter Thiel] is a man who has sex with other men. But is he gay?”
Downs, who apparently has the power to decide who is and isn’t gay enough, provides the answer: “By the logic of gay liberation, Thiel is an example of a man who has sex with other men, but not a gay man.”
The worst. pic.twitter.com/8MNCUqmkBD
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) October 16, 2016
Thiel’s crime against the LGBT movement? According to the author, he isn’t really gay because “he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity,” and endorsed “a platform that is actually dangerous to LGBT people.”
In other words, Peter Thiel isn’t a Democrat:
In a very telling moment, Thiel referred to the devastating legislation that North Carolina and Mississippi passed prohibiting transgender people from using the bathrooms of their choice as a ‘distraction.’ Thiel also endorsed a political platform and party that includes the vice-presidential nominee who has voted against hate-crime laws, opposed HIV funding, and supported a law allowing businesses to deny services to people who identify as gay.
Weirdly, after calling out the founder of PayPal as not really gay for being a conservative, the article concedes that: “This does not mean that LGBT culture is homogenous or that all LGBT people have the same ideological viewpoints or values,” adding: “But it does mean that they all understand, on some level, the notion of gay culture.”
Surely thinking for yourself is liberating, right?