- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Peter Thiel may be attracted to men, but a prominent LGBT magazine says he’s “not a gay man” because he supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

In a rambling article for The Advocate, Connecticut College history professor Jim Downs posits that there is more to being gay “than just having sex with someone of the same gender.”

Mr. Downs argues the Silicon Valley billionaire reaffirmed his personal “sexual choices” by supporting Mr. Trump, but separated himself from the broader “gay identity” rooted in class struggle against oppression.

“By the logic of gay liberation, Thiel is an example of a man who has sex with other men, but not a gay man,” Mr. Downs wrote. “Because he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity.”

Mr. Downs also accuses Mr. Thiel of supporting a platform that is “actually dangerous to LGBT people,” pointing to Republican-backed laws allowing religious bakers to refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

And he takes issue with Mr. Thiel’s Republican National Convention speech, in which the tech entrepreneur said political disputes over transgender bathroom access are a “distraction” from the larger issues facing the nation.

Mr. Downs says he is not trying to argue “that LGBT culture is homogenous [sic] or that all LGBT people have the same ideological viewpoints or values,” yet insists that gay people must have a shared understanding of “gay culture” in order to be truly “gay.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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