The Republican Party platform may not be as embracing of LGBT equality as many would like — many would say it's embracing of inequality — but gay Republicans see progress in party inclusiveness. Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a gay man, gets a prime time speaking slot Thursday, marking the first time in 16 years that an openly gay man takes the stage at the GOP’s grandest party. An Wednesday, trans celeb Caitlyn Jenner will be a celebrity guest at an LGBT Brunch hosted at the Big Tent at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here’s a list of some of the most politically involved LGBT Republicans that you should know and their Twitter handles.
1. Peter Thiel — @peterthiel
The cofounder of PayPal and financial destroyer of Gawker will be the first openly gay speaker at a Republican National Convention in 16 years when he takes the stage. Tech magnate Peter Thiel long served as a conservative voice in liberal Silicon Valley, and earlier this year he was announced as a Trump delegate to the convention. Thiel is expected to bring a pro-business message to the stage in Cleveland.
2. Rachel Hoff — @rachelhoff814
An LGBT person sat on the platform committee for the Republican platform committee for the first time ever this year. Rachel Hoff, a lesbian who describes herself as a “defense and foreign policy hawk,” told Timethe work on the platform was trying, even making her question whether to stay in the party, but she ultimately feels better off staying the course with the GOP. “If we all just leave,” she said, “then the party’s never going to get better. So the plan is to stay.”
3. Gregory T. Angelo — @gregorytangelo
Executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans since 2013, Gregory T. Angelo has shown both optimism about Donald Trump (“the most pro-gay nominee that the party has ever had for president”) and anger over an intolerant party platform (“this isn’t my GOP, and I know it’s not yours either”). During his years in politics, the gay Republican leader has pushed hard for his party to modernize its position on marriage equality.
4. Chris Barron — @ChrisRBarron
The cofounder of now-defunct GOProud, Chris Barron recently launched LGBTrump to rally support for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. He recently dismissed slams on the party platform as inconsequential. “We have the most pro-gay nominee of the Republican Party ever in Donald Trump,” he told The Washington Post, “and that’s what matters.”
5. Caitlyn Jenner — @Caitlyn_Jenner
Yes, America’s most high-profile transgender woman remains committed to the Republican Party. She famously told students at the University of Pennsylvania earlier this year that she gets “more flak for being a conservative Republican than I have for being trans.” Jenner announced on Twitter that she would be headed to Cleveland during the Republican National Convention and applauded an announcement from GLAAD that it would run a transgender equality ad on national television during the convention. And while she acknowledges that Democrats have a better record on trans rights, she also maintains the GOP just needs “somebody on the team that can go in there and maybe change their minds.”
6. Chrys Kefalas — @CKefalas
LGBT Republicans were disappointed when gay U.S. Senate candidate Chrys Kefalas of Maryland came in third in the state's April Republican primary, but Kefalas has continued to stay involved in national conversation. He voiced his concerns to Mic about Donald Trump’s selection of anti-LGBT politician Mike Pence as his running mate. He also took note when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called conversion therapy “barbaric” but said leaders need to go further in decrying the practice.
7. Mary Cheney — @mccheney
Daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Mary Cheney has been involved in conservative policy-making for more than two decades herself. Right now she is a partner at policy consulting firm New Troy Strategies, but she previously worked as managing partner at BKM Strategies and at Navigators Global. Her biggest moment in LGBT politics arguably came in an interfamily feud with sister Liz Cheney when the two publicly differed on marriage equality during the straight sister’s failed Senate campaign, but Mary also was credited with influencing her father’s divergence from the party line on this issue, especially when the famously right-wing vice president broke with boss George W. Bush during the 2004 presidential race and supported states legalizing same-sex marriage.
8. Ken Mehlman
Remember when President George W. Bush was running for reelection on a promise to amend the constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage? Turns out a gay man was managing his campaign at the time. Ken Mehlman, who would go on to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007, also eventually came out as gay in 2010, a decision he spoke about in depth with The Advocate. He has since become a stalwart supporter of gay rights, including signing on to an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of marriage equality, but he also remains a loyal Republican. But don’t expect him to be celebrating in Cleveland; he’s also firmly in the #NeverTrump camp.
9. Jim Kolbe — @gmfus
The last time an openly gay speaker took the stage at a Republican National Convention was in 2000, when U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona addressed the gathering. Texas delegates threatened to walk out during his speech but instead protested by taking off their hats and assuming a prayer posture during the speech. Now a senior trans-Atlantic fellow for the German Marshall Fund, the former congressman remains a highly regarded national security policy expert.
10. Mark Foley — @markfoleyfla
A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 through 2006, the Florida politician came out after being embroiled in a sexting scandal involving a congressional page; the messages were publicized by ABC News. Foley quickly resigned, but he indicated in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel in Florida last year that he may consider a return to politics if circumstances allow.
11. Sarah Longwell — @SarahLongwell25
Sarah Longwell remains one of the most vocal Republican lesbians in the country. She worked in conservative publishing in the 2000s, and she was inspired to come out after seeing a growing antigay sentiment in her party. She now serves as vice chair of the Log Cabin Republicans, where she has pushed for causes like marriage equality while maintaining support for Republican economic positions.
12. Michael Huffington
Best known as the ex-husband of Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, the natural gas heir became involved in Republican politics early in life as an intern for then-Rep. George H.W. Bush in 1968. While married to Arianna (then a conservative columnist), Huffington was elected to one term in Congress in 1992 representing California. He divorced his wife in 1997, and it came out he was bisexual in 1998. But while his ex-wife ultimately flipped to become a voice in the left-wing blogosphere, Michael Huffington continued efforts to change the GOP from within, working with fellow moderates such as Christine Todd Whitman in the It’s My Party Too PAC. He also got into documentary production, producing films like Bi the Way.
13. Jose Cunningham — @DCGOP
No local Republican club is closer to the federal halls of power than the D.C. Republican Committee. In 2015 gay Republican activist Jose Cunningham won an election in a landslide to chair the group, unseating an incumbent and promising to make the party more inclusive.
14. Robert Turner II — @RobertTurnerDC
The D.C. Republican Committee in 2013 hired a gay man of color to be its executive director. Robert Turner II served as president of the D.C. chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans before taking the role, and he previously worked in the offices of Republican U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, and GOP U.S. Reps. George Radanovich of California and Bob Riley of Alabama. He left the D.C. Republican Committee position after a fraud scandal, and he has since pleaded guilty to stealing more than $7,000. Today, Turner works as a senior adviser at Atlas Advocacy.
15. Bob J. Kabel — @BobKabelDC
A member of the Republican National Committee this year, Bob J. Kabel served as chairman of the D.C. Republican Committee from 2004 through 2013 and before that chaired Log Cabin Republicans. A former special assistant to Ronald Reagan, he has served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
16. Scott Evertz — @ScottEvertzWI
Wisconsin public health expert Scott Evertz briefly served as director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy for President George W. Bush, making him the first openly gay official appointed by a Republican president. Today, he heads up the Evertz Group, a public policy and governmental affairs consulting firm.
17. Rich Tafel — @richtafel
The creator of the Log Cabin Republicans, Rich Tafel in June was named managing director of Raffa Social Capital Advisors and previously founded Public Squared.
18. Richard Grenell — @richardgrenell
A regular contributor of Fox News, Richard Grenell in 2012 was named Mitt Romney’s national security and foreign affairs spokesman, the first time an openly gay person served in a spokesman capacity for a Republican presidential candidate. Previously, he served eight years as director of communications and public diplomacy for the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations' office.
19. Steve Gunderson — @CECUed
The president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities since 2012, Steve Gunderson served as a U.S. representative from Wisconsin from 1981 until 1997. When he was outed by a GOP colleague, Rep. Bob Dornan of California, he became the first openly gay Republican serving in Congress.
20. Tony Fabrizio - @TonyFabrizioGOP
In 2011, Jimmy LaSalvia, the cofounder of the now-defunct LGBT Republican group GOProud, called out the "hypocrisy" of Tony Fabrizio, a veteran GOP pollster, for being part of an ad campaign that attacked President Obama's repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." GOProud not only outed Fabrizio; it hurled an antigay slur at him. Fabrizio has worked with a number of Republican politicians and was recently tapped by Donald Trump to work on his presidential campaign.
21. Tim Miller — @Timodoc
Cofounder of the America Rising PAC and adviser to the Our Principles PAC, Tim Miller most recently headed up communications for Jeb Bush’s failed presidential campaign. He’s previously worked in campaigns for Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and John McCain. Miller started America Rising to provide Republicans with an opposition research arm.
22. Kathryn Lehman — @stoutdc
Twenty years ago, Kathryn Lehman was a congressional staffer who helped write the Defense of Marriage Act. But a lot has changed then, including Lehman’s acceptance of her sexuality. Today, the former chief of staff for the House Republican Caucus is a partner at Holland and Knight in D.C., and The Hill listed the out lesbian as a top lobbyist in the nation’s capital for four years running between 2011 and 2015.
23. Jamie Ensley — @JamieNAtlanta
The sitting chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans, Jamie Ensley also serves as president of the Georgia Chapter of the LGBT organization and is board treasurer for Georgia Equality. When Judge Virginia Philips ruled the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy unconstitutional in 2010, she noted Ensley’s testimony in the case. Last year Ensley was a major player in an effort to pass antidiscrimination legislation in the Peach State.
24. Casey Pick — @AmericanUnity (note: not personal Twitter)
A board member for the Gay Christian Network, lesbian Casey Pick has worked since 2015 as a consultant and legal counsel for the American Unity Fund, which specifically reaches out to Republicans to make the conservative case for LGBT rights.
25. Tyler Deaton — @tylerdeaton
The president of Allegiance Strategies, Tyler Deaton serves as senior adviser to the American Unity PAC. The gay New Hampshire man is known for fighting for LGBT rights and against taxation but has worked on policy involving a variety of other issues, including health care, immigration, and criminal justice.
26. Fred Karger - @fredkarger
Fred Karger made history in 2012, when he became the first gay man to run for president in either party. His affiliation, however, is Republican, and his résumé includes work as a senior consultant for past heads of state, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. A movie about his historic campaign, Fred, premiered in 2014.
27. Robert Traynham - @roberttraynham
Robert Traynham worked as a press spokesman for the Republican (and antigay) politician Rick Santorum from 1997 to 2007. The gay former staffer continued to defend his boss even after his term of employment, saying in a 2006 interview, “Senator Santorum is a man of principle, he is a man who sticks up for what he believes in. I strongly do support Senator Santorum.” He currently serves as vice president of communications at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
*CORRECTION: A previous version of this article listed Charles Francis as a Republican. Francis left the GOP in 2004 and is now an Independent.