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VC Peter Thiel says 'I'm proud to be gay,' gets applause at RNC

CLEVELAND — Peter Thiel received a big applause Thursday night at the Republican National Convention after saying something not many would expect in such a venue.

"I am proud to be gay," said Thiel, one of the earliest investors in Facebook."I am proud to be a Republican, but most of all I am proud to be an American."

The venture capitalist also touched on the debate over which bathrooms transgender people can use, saying "this is a distraction from our real problems."

Thiel also said the U.S. government's staggeringly outdated technology has more than just weakened it.

"Today, our government is broken. Our nuclear bases still use floppy disks. Our newest fighter jets can't even fly in the rain. And it would be kind to say the government's software works poorly, because much of the time it doesn't even work at all," he said.

"We don't accept such incompetence in Silicon Valley, and we must not accept it from our government."

Thiel also continued one of the week's most common themes, which is attack presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Getty Images
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

"We don't need to see Hillary Clinton's deleted emails: her incompetence is in plain sight. She pushed for a war in Libya, and today it's a training ground for ISIS. On this most important issue, Donald Trump is right. It's time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country," Thiel said.

Thiel apparently hopped on the Trump bandwagon in May, after his name appeared on a list of California GOP delegates.

Other than being recognized as one of the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, Thiel was revealed as the person bankrolling Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, in his lawsuit against media outlet Gawker. Hogan was awarded $115 million in that lawsuit, which came about after Gawker posted a sex tape of him.

Gawker outed Thiel as gay in 2007.

On Tuesday, a source said Gawker founder Nick Denton may file for personal bankruptcy this week.

In a Tuesday statement, Denton said, "Peter Thiel's vendetta against my company may well require me as well as the company to file for bankruptcy protection until the Florida appeals court can rule on the extraordinary $140 million judgment."